ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A 13-inch alligator has been found in a home in Islip, the 20th alligator found on Long Island in the past sixteen months.
The alligator was spotted in a tank Friday when police were in the Islip home on an unrelated matter.
The Suffolk County SPCA and the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation responded and confiscated the animal.
It is illegal to own an alligator in New York state. The owners of the alligator found in Islip could be fined.
“My understanding is the subject purchased the alligator in Pennsylvania where it is actually legal to possess an alligator, but once he brought it into New York state, he was breaking the law here,” SPCA Chief Roy Gross told 1010 WINS.
Gross said the alligator found Friday was in good health. It will be sent to a safe location such as an animal sanctuary.
The Suffolk SPCA hosted a reptile amnesty program in September where people could turn their illegal pets in without facing charges.
Gross said dozens of alligators and other illegal reptiles have been found or abandoned on Long Island recently.
“At this point, 20 alligators in the last 16 months is very concerning, to say the least, to the Suffolk County SPCA,” Gross said.
Gross said many people buy alligators online or in states where they are legal and then abandon them when they grow too dangerous to handle.
Animals turned in at the event in September were sent to zoos and other safe locations.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- Farm Recalls Produce Used In Costco Salad Linked To E. Coli
- Giving Thanks: What New Yorkers Are Grateful For This Holiday Season
- DEVELOPING: Woman Dead, Over 10 Injured In Brooklyn Hit-And-Run
- Rape Reported At East River Park On Lower East Side
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)