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Massive 750-Pound Swamp Monster Seized from US Home, Owner Allegedly Let Kids Swim with the Killer

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The man who calls himself “Albert’s dad” is fighting mad now that his pet of 34 years — which one friend called a “big gentle giant” —  has been hauled away.

But in state-speak, taking away “an 11-foot, 750-pound alligator illegally kept at a residence in the town of Hamburg,”  was “in the interest of public safety and the health, safety, and protection of the alligator,” according to a news release on the website of the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The bare facts are not in dispute. On Wednesday, Environmental Conservation Police Officers took the alligator away as they pondered charges against his owner, whose license to own the animal — which is blind in both eyes and has spinal issues — lapsed in 2021.

But Tony Cavallaro says he is a victim of bureaucracy run amok.

“I’m Albert’s dad, that’s all there is to it,” he said, according to WKBW-TV. “He’s like family to everybody.”

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The state noted that members of the public had been in the alligator’s pool. Neighbor Doug Widdowson would not deny he was among them, according to WIVB-TV.

“He’s just a big gentle giant – he truly is,” Widdowson said. “I just dipped in the pool real quick, and I cautiously walked over to him, pet him on the head and gave him a kiss.”

Cavallaro was irked at the way his friend was taken.

“They also brought at least 20 or more agents to my house in full body armor and guns treating me like a criminal. It was like I was a gun dealing drug dealing criminal the way they acted,” he wrote on a Change.org petition on his behalf that had more than 71,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon.

Should alligators be legal to own?

He noted on the petition he has had Albert for 34 years.

“The DEC and SPCA took Albert away from me saying that I put people in harm’s way with him. Every one who has met Albert or knows Albert knows that this is not true. I took care of him better than most people take care of their kids.“ he wrote.

“I go, ‘You’re not taking him.’ They go, ‘Yeah, we’re taking him today,’ ” he said, according to WGRZ-TV. “And I go, ‘What do you mean you’re taking him?'”

Cavallaro said the state gave him the runaround when he wanted to renew his license in 2021.

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“They say I ranted at them and threatened them about my insurance. No, I ranted about, I go, ‘I got a $1 million coverage.’ ‘Oh! ‘Well, you need $2 million.’ I go, ‘It’s $1,200 a year. The law has changed, and I should be grandfathered in,” he said.

Cavallaro built an addition to the back of his home so Albert could have a pool. He said the state wanted a fence as well.

“I would do it absolutely. But they would not answer. They would not clarify. They would not answer me,” Cavallaro said.

Cavallaro said children have posed for pictures with the alligator, but a neighbor has come to Cavallaro’s defense, according to WKBW.

“He’s not having alligator get together, or parties,” said Lautner. “He’s just a really nice guy and loves that alligator, and treats it well.”

The state told WKBW, “Even if the owner was appropriately licensed, public contact with the animal is prohibited and grounds for license revocation and relocation of the animal.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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