While keeping an alligator as a pet can be an exciting idea for some, in reality it is a very risky decision, as many areas not only prohibit legal ownership of these creatures but have also made it a felony if you are caught with an unregistered animal. In order to legally own a pet alligator, you must be willing to invest a lot of time and money to ensure that the reptile is unable to escape, making safety of the surrounding community a top priority.
The first thing that is important to do if you are considering keeping an alligator as a pet is to contact your state’s wildlife authority to find out whether or not you can do so legally in that specific area. It is forbidden to own a pet alligator in most jurisdictions, and exotic pet permits are often only granted to experience reptile handlers that have existing facilities to keep the creatures in.
If you are granted permission to keep an alligator legally, the next most important thing is to design a proper enclosure for the animal that will not only keep it from escaping, but will also prohibit entry to intruders. The enclosure should also be sturdy enough to resist damage, as alligators are giant, powerful and aggressive.
When purchasing an alligator as a pet, one should do so from a reputable breeder, preferably one who has handled and tamed the reptile since birth. This usually results in a much calmer animal that is also more predictable. Never attempt to capture an alligator from the wild, not only is this dangerous it is also illegal in most states.
As a legal pet owner of an alligator, individuals should always avoid taking their safety for granted. Even the smallest bite or aggressive behavior from an alligator can be deadly if delivered in just the right spot. Pet owners should also keep in mind that an alligator is not the type of animal to bond with you or become a faithful companion.
Allowing the local wildlife authorities to have full access to your alligator’s habitat at all times is also a must. Expect frequent inspections by experience personnel who can help prevent the animal from escaping as well as monitor your alligator’s welfare.
A few other things individuals need to consider before purchasing an alligator as a pet, is that these creatures grow quickly and unexpectedly as they mature. This is especially true if you feed them on a regular basis. Due to this fact, individuals should be prepared to expand the alligator’s habitat according to its size.
Alligators should never be released into the wild if it has been raised in captivity unless you have the supervision and guidance of a local wildlife authority. Your pet alligator could be in a lot of danger if it has grown up in captivity as it has most likely lost its fear of humans and will not be able to interact well with other alligators. This could make the creature more vulnerable to predators and other environmental dangers or catastrophes. A zoo might be a better alternative for this animal.