LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland woman is fighting to keep her pet alligator, Rambo. The 6-foot long, 125-pound reptile wears clothes, rides on the back of a motorcycle and has a bedroom in Mary Thorn’s home.
Thorn told News Channel 8 that she considers Rambo more like her child, especially after her son passed away a year ago. She also says she has trained him not to bite. “He sits on the couch. He knows how to work the remote. So, he’s just a house gator,” she said. “He just wants to be babied.”
Thorn has had a license for the alligator since she rescued him 11 years ago. But, Rambo recently grew to six feet.
Florida wildlife commission spokesman Gary Morse says Thorn’s case is under investigation. Because of that, he did not want to comment.
Morse did say they are looking into a change in the wildlife code, which currently requires someone have 2.5 acres of land in order to possess an alligator of that size. He said they are also looking into a number of other issues but would not elaborate. Morse would not give any indication when a determination would be made.
Thorn is concerned because Rambo was raised inside, without sunlight. She says he can’t be left outdoors because he is sensitive to sunlight. “He hates it outside. He hates grass. When he hears crickets, he gets scared,” she said.
News Channel 8 spoke with an alligator expert who insists that living like this is not healthy for a gator. Thorn admits he’s not used to his natural habitat.
“If he leaves me, I’m afraid he is going to pass away,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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