TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man is being charged after housing an alligator in a 35-gallon aquarium in his garage, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
An FWC officer responded to an Orlando home where he questioned 28-year-old Christopher Abelard if there was an alligator in or outside the home.
The officer said Christopher grinned at the question and opened the garage, revealing a 3.5-foot American alligator in a 35-gallon aquarium tank.
The man told the officer that he didn’t know anything about the gator, given that it was his dad’s, 50-year-old Jean Abelard’s house, the FWC report said.
Christopher then showed the officer five boa constrictors in other aquariums in another part of the garage.
According to the FWC, when asked where the gator came from, Christopher told the officer he didn’t want to be involved. The officer asked for Chrispother to have his father call him.
When the officer spoke with the dad, Jean, on the phone, Jean said he picked the alligator up on Sept. 23 when he saw it crossing the road.
He told the officer he didn’t want someone to run it over, pick it up, take it home, and eat it, the FWC report said.
Jean also claimed he was going to take it to Gatorland on the following Saturday.
Due to the lack of a required Class II permit to possess an alligator and the 35-gallon aquarium not meeting the caging requirements, the alligator was seized from the home, according to the report.
“Not only was the aquarium small but it was dirty and only had a small mesh top with dumbbell weights holding it down,” the FWC report said.
Jean was charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for unlawful sale, possession, and transporting of alligators and a second-degree misdemeanor for violation of Florida administrative codes pertaining to wildlife as personal pets.