alligator

A 4-foot alligator sold legally to a 17-year-old boy at a one-day reptile show in Hamburg recently.

After getting two calls in a single day asking him to take alligators no longer wanted or seized from their owners, Jesse Rothacker of the Lititz-based Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is angry again.

Rothacker’s latest ire was kindled when a Montgomery County mother called him Friday morning to ask the sanctuary to take a 4-foot-long alligator that her 17-year-old son had purchased for $150 cash at a one-day reptile show  in Hamburg.

The call came in while Rothacker was waiting for another alligator to be dropped off from a Bucks County rescue operation. The alligator had been seized from its owner.

The mother of the teen who brought home the alligator was furious, Rothacker said.

“I’m beyond frustrated,” Rothacker said. “Will somebody please do something to stop pet alligators that are being sold to children in Pennsylvania? This is ridiculous.”

For years, Rothacker and others have been trying unsuccessfully to get state legislators to ban the sale of alligators.

The practice is illegal in almost all states surrounding Pennsylvania: New York, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey and Delaware.

He urged residents to call legislators who refuse to take action against “Pennsylvania’s alligator invasion.”

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