Islip (WALK) - It's an illegal pet, but apparently a popular one.
The Suffolk SPCA reports that it has rescued a record number of alligators on Long Island this year. The most recent is a 13-inch alligator (pictured at left) that was recovered last Friday from a house in Islip, where it was found living in a tank. Cops were there on an unrelated investigation when they spotted the reptile.
Alligators are not native to Long Island and state law prohibits owning one. Violations carry a possible fine of $250. The Suffolk SPCA says that the baby alligator in Islip was bought in Pennsylvania and brought back to Long Island but it's not known if the owner received a citation.
Many of the alligators that were rescued on Long Island this year had been dumped in public places and wooded areas, including parks in Lake Ronkonkoma and Huntington. They were presumably abandoned by their owners after the reptiles grew too big and wild for a novice to manage. Alligators can reach 6 to 7 feet long.
Abandoning an alligator in a pubilc place is a misdemeanor that carries a possible $1,000 fine.
Photo: Suffolk SPCA