Watch the video of an alligator illegally living inside a shipping container

Oct 26, 2022, 1:42 PM


Photo from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office

It’s not every day you hear about an alligator living in the Northwest, but that’s what Pierce County Animal Control found in a storage container at a property in Lake Bay.

Animal control had a prior complaint of a man living on a friend’s property in Lakebay with an alligator, but when they went to investigate, they couldn’t find the alligator on the property.

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Animal control officers returned on Oct. 20, alongside Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies, where they found the alligator kept inside a small tub inside a shipping container.

Inside the shipping container, deputies also found a sick calf and a mattress for the owner of the animals. Deputies said a man built a pool for the gator and put up a gate for a calf also living in the container.

Deputies came back to the property the next day with a warrant, seized the alligator, and checked on the sick calf, which they had ordered the man to take to a veterinarian.

The Sheriff’s Department said the calf and owner were not there at the time, but the alligator was left behind.

It is illegal to keep alligators in Washington State.

In a video from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, animal control officers can be seen retrieving the reptile, nicknamed Al, out of his tub and holding him down while a deputy helped tape his mouth close.

The six-foot-seven-inch alligator was taken to The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, a wildlife rehabilitation center. Deputies said the gator was in good health, but it will now live in a large habitat instead of being confined to a small container.

Investigators are looking for the 32-year-old man to determine if the calf was taken care of. The man might face a civil fine.

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Watch the video of an alligator illegally living inside a shipping container