WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – You can usually find alligators lurking in ponds, swamps, and marshes down South, but an alligator named Wally spent the past 26 years living right here in western Massachusetts.
Most people wouldn’t call this 6-foot long, 150-180 lb alligator pet material, but for a man West Springfield, a pet is exactly what he was.
Kenyetta Alston lives right down the street from the gator’s owner, she told 22News, she didn’t know what to think when she first heard the news. “Get out of here! An alligator in West Springfield, you just wouldn’t think someone would have an alligator at their house,” she said.
West Springfield Police Sgt. Michael Reed told 22News the police received an anonymous call on Thursday reporting that someone was keeping an alligator as a pet in their backyard on Main Street.
When officers got to 660 Main Street, they found a 6-foot long adult alligator, that weighed between 150 and 180 pounds.
West Springfield Police immediately called the environmental police and Forest Park Zoo to rescue the reptile, who had apparently been living there for years.
Sgt. Reed told 22News the man who lives there was keeping the alligator as a pet. He wasn’t home when officers rescued the alligator, but his elderly parents were.
West Springfield Police said the alligator’s owner is upset about the situation, and has said he wants to get his pet back, but Sgt. Reed said won’t be possible, because it is illegal to keep an alligator as a pet.
Wally was taken to the Zoo at Forest Park, where he’s living in an enclosure with another alligator.
Forest Park Business Manager Darlene Blaney told 22News environmental police will decide where his final home will be once he gets checked out by a veterinarian. “He’s just kind of hanging out here, relaxing. We do plan on having a vet take a look at him, and then we’ll report our findings back to the environmental police,” she said.