How many pets have you had in your lifetime? I couldn't tell you the number I've had in my 55 years but I know there were many cats, a coupe of dogs and goldfish. I'd say the most "exotic" pet I have owned were a school of sea-monkeys that I sent away for.

One pet that I have never owned is an alligator. As a matter of fact it is illegal to own one in the State of New York without a permit. Just ask this Suffolk County couple that denied having any reptiles in their house. Then this happened.

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On Friday August 5th, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, officers were tipped off that there was a reptile being kept as a pet in a home in Islip, NY. Not just any reptile, a 4' to 5' alligator!

The DEC Bureau of Environmental Crimes took on the investigation and, over several weeks. It was determined that not only was there an alligator in the home but the owners did not have a permit to have this wild animal as a pet.

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According to reports, officers tried to get a hold of the home owners but were not able to reach them. Persistence pays off however, as contact was finally made. Once the question was asked, the homeowners denied having any reptiles inside the home.

It is unclear if they were feeling guilty, scared or just realized they were not going to get away with this, the home owners called police to confess that they do own an alligator and they agreed to turn him over. The gator's name is "Zachary" and he is 9-years-old. Today he is in a reptile refuge and animal sanctuary in Massachusetts. The owners are facing administrative charges for possessing a wild animal without a permit.

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