Woman fights to keep 125-pound pound pet alligator
FLORIDA - A Florida woman is fighting to keep her 125-pound alligator after denied a permit.
The alligator, Rambo, “eats at the dinner table, sleeps in my bed and follows me around like my dogs,” 55-year-old owner Mary Thorn says.
Thorn says she calls Rambo her “second son.” Thorn added that Rambo plays with her other dogs at home, goes to the fridge when he's hungry and even watches TV with her on the couch.
Thorn told ABC News today that she had a permit to keep the 15-year old alligator ever since she rescued it and brought him home over seven years ago.
The gator has grown to be over 6 feet long. A recently added condition for a permit says that alligators over 6 feet long need to be kept on property with at least 2.5 acres of land, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Gary Morse.
This is a very complex case, especially since she acquired the gator before some changes in permit conditions," Morse told ABC News today. Morse said that Thorn reapplied for a permit earlier in the year and was denied, however the case is in the process of being reviewed.
Thorn explained that Rambo is a local celebrity and puts on small shows for charities and organizations in the area. The gator has been pictured “riding” an ATV, and even wearing clothes.
Thorn says she has trained him to keep his snout shut when around people, especially children.
According to Thorn, Rambo was originally trapped in a small tank in a dark closet without sunlight before she rescued him so now he has to wear clothes outside because his skin is “very sensitive to sunlight.”
Thorn says she does not believe in taking alligators from their habitat, however she says that he needs to stay domesticated and thinks other alligators will kill him if taken away from her.