Friday, December 19, 2014

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Austin

Alligators aren't good house pets

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TWC News: Alligators aren't good house pets
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When most people think of a pet, an alligator never enters their mind. However, some animal lovers think they can handle the challenge of an exotic pet like an alligator in a large fish tank. Some people even wrongly believe the gator will only grow as large as the enclosure he is kept in, but that's an urban legend.

Jeff Taylor of “The Wild Animal Park” cares for several young alligators and tells us first-hand how large and dangerous these animals can be.

"They look cool when they are small, but they grow very rapidly and become not a good pet at all," Taylor said. "They grow up to a foot a year so within five or six years you have a five- or six-foot alligator that does not fit well into a fish tank or a bathtub or any other area, and then they become a problem because nobody wants them."

Even though people will work with these animals individually for decades, it is basically impossible to “train” them, and the best you can hope for is that they become a little more relaxed in the presence of a familiar human who feeds them. But, any experienced reptile handler will tell you never turn your back on a gator. In many states you must have a permit or be licensed to keep exotic reptiles like alligators, crocodiles or caimans.

If you are a fan of reptiles consider a bearded dragon or a gecko and leave the alligators to the professionals.

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