FWC: 7-foot-long pet alligators at South Daytona home must go

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SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. —

South Daytona police said they were called to a home on Lambright Road Thursday night where a resident discovered that her neighbor was keeping two alligators as pets, measuring at approximately 7 feet long.

Officials said the neighbor was in her yard pulling weeds with family members near a fence when they heard thrashing.

Officers said that's when the neighbors discovered the alligators.  

The home where the gators were found is only a few hundred yards from a day care, police said.

Police said the owner of the alligators is out of town on vacation, but he told them over the phone he has had the reptiles since they were hatchlings and he has had them at the home since he moved in six years ago from Kentucky.

"I do feel like they're not in the proper, what shall I say, environment. Gators have got to have water. They got to be in a pond," said neighbor Horace Burch.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission is investigating. An officer told WFTV they know that the alligators are not being kept in proper cages and there's not enough water in them.

Officers also said the animals weren’t a threat.

“The alligators at the present time do not pose a threat of escaping from the property. They don’t pose any immediate danger to the public and they appear quite healthy,” said FWC officer Rick Brown.

Either way, wildlife officials said the gators must go.

They said the homeowner can get a permit for the alligators, but they still can’t stay at the home.

Officers said if the owner doesn’t have a permit, he could face misdemeanor charges 

His name was not released.