Deputy Finds American Alligator Inside Hot Springs Home

GARLAND COUNTY, AR — A Garland County Sheriff’s deputy gets an unexpected surprise when he finds an alligator inside an apartment home!

At two years old, it may just be over two feet now, but eventually the American alligator could reach ten to twelve feet long.

Officer Jeremy Wiley with Arkansas Game and Fish said, “Because as we know, a lot of the wildlife animals look cute as babies, but they don’t stay babies.”

A Garland County deputy was greeted by the scaly guest as he went to serve civil papers at an apartment complex — on Akers Road — in Hot Springs.

Officer Wiley says the deputy was never in any danger. The owners kept the alligator inside a small rubber tub and it wasn’t aggressive. But, make no mistake about it, the alligator can pack a powerful bite.

Officer Wiley said, “An alligator that size could have you to get some pretty serious stitches.”

Officer Wiley says the owners told him they bought the alligator over the internet. For now, the reptile will be calling the Arkansas Game and Fish Hatchery it’s home while the investigation into how it got here continues.

The owners were cited with possession of an American alligator — which is illegal — in the state of Arkansas. They could face a fine and up to a year in jail.

American alligators can be found in South Arkansas. You can get a permit to hunt them, but again, it is not legal to keep an alligator as a pet in our state.

And in case you’re wondering what the owners fed their pet, Officer Wiley says it got dog food. We’re told in the wild, this animal would eat fish and turtles. But it did appear to be healthy.

After the investigation is finished it will go to a rehabilitation facility or a zoo.

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