Just because you can capture an animal, that doesn't mean you should attempt to take it home and raise it as a pet.

According to a news release from Texas Parks & Wildlife, in August a Texas resident contacted Montgomery County game wardens to report a neighbor who allegedly was keeping an alligator in their backyard.

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See Ya Later Alligator

Texas game wardens responded to the residence in question and spoke to the homeowner regarding the reptile. At that point the man admitted to capturing an alligator at Lake Conroe that was 4 or 5 feet in length and then transporting it home to show his kids.

The homeowner told law enforcement that he released the alligator the next day.


A Closer Look

While the game wardens didn't find the alligator, a further search of the property revealed a room filled with aquariums.

Law enforcement was able to identify several stingrays inside the aquariums. In case you weren't aware, Stingrays are an invasive species and illegal to possess.

Photo by Jeromey Balderrama on Unsplash
Photo by Jeromey Balderrama on Unsplash

The guy must have been an amateur collector of sorts because he went on to tell the game wardens that he also removed a small alligator snapping turtle from Lake Livingston and was keeping it in a tank. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports:

"As the largest freshwater turtle in North America and a threatened species, it is illegal to capture or possess one without a permit."

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Press Release
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Press Release

Happy Ending

Fortunately, once the legality of the animals was discussed, the homeowner agreed to let them be re-homed.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reports that the turtle was donated to the Spring Creek Nature Center, which is permitted to possess native species and display them for educational purposes.

The stingrays were transported to Moody Gardens to educate the public about different ecosystems and the harm that invasive species can cause to local wildlife. 

There's no information regarding citations that the owner may have incurred due to the illegal possessions of the wildlife.

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