SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. - Two large pet alligators are expected to be removed from their home in South Daytona soon.
The two large alligators were found by a neighbor while the homeowner was out of town.
Larry Miller, who owns the alligators, recently returned home and told Channel 9's Blaine Tolison that he has been raising the gators from hatchlings.
"I'm going to show you all that I can feed them by hand and he'll come right up and eat right out of my hand," Miller told Tolison.
On Friday, one of Miller's neighbors called police after spotting the alligators while doing yard work. Miller said he believes the neighbors already knew he had the alligators.
"The male gets, you know, he'll vibrate the water. They're like (a) car starting and you can hear him three mile away when he does that and he does that about once a week, so I know they know they're over there," Miller said.
At the time, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials said they would not remove the animals until Miller returned home.
Miller told Tolison that he has had the gators, ages 20 and 17, for years and that he feels an emotional attachment to his pets. He said removing the alligators will be a sad process for him.
"Just like anybody, they love their dog or they love their cats
, I love alligators," said Miller.
He said they aren't a threat.
"I don't consider them dangerous. I mean, in Kentucky I've had kids sit right on their back and take pictures of them, you know? They're not dangerous," Miller said.
Wildlife officials said one alligator is 9 feet long and the other is 5 to 6 feet long. They said they will give Miller some time to find a new home for his pets.
"We'd like his input as well, being so emotionally attached. We fill that it's important because he has been so cooperative with us," said Greg Workman, with the FWC.
Miller said he refers to his alligators as
"Big Boy" and "Big Girl."