A seven-foot alligator was recently seized by animal control officers in Ohio. Authorities moved in after learning of a video posted on Facebook showing teenagers harassing the animal.
The video shows a young man laughing as he throws beer on top of the alligator, which jerks back in surprise and bites the small, hard plastic tub where he was kept.
Severely weakened by a lack of nourishment and suffering from a bone disease and loose teeth, caused by a vitamin D deficiency associated with a lack of sunlight, the animal had been confined in a basement for more than 15 years.
A local veterinary opined that the gator should have been three feet longer but its growth had been stunted by captivity.
A law recently enacted in Ohio makes it illegal to own exotic animals that are not registered with the state. Unsurprisingly, the alligator was not.
The law was passed in response to an incident in the state two years ago when the owner of an animal preserve released all his animals then killed himself.
During a night of chaos, an escaped lion killed a monkey, and bears and lions were charging at horses kept at the preserve. Fearing the animals would scatter and terrorize the town, officers shot and killed 49 animals, including 18 Bengal tigers, 17 lions, six black bears, a pair of grizzlies, three mountain lions, two wolves and a baboon.
In regard to the alligator, authorities said that animal cruelty charges may be filed against the animal’s owner and the teenagers.
After a period of rehabilitation the animal will be transferred to a wildlife sanctuary in Florida. Alligators can live well into their seventies. Thanks to the jerk who kept the animal in the dark for 15 years, it may not have that much life left.
Source: Daily Dot.