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A Florida resident was forced to give up his pets of 20 years to Gatorland.

Man forced to surrender pet alligators

Friday, May 2, 2014, 11:20 AM -

It's always sad to separate a pet from its owner but sometimes its for the best

That's the case for the Millers in South Daytona, Florida that were forced to surrender their pet alligators on Thursday. Neighbours were recently surprised to learn that the two gators had lived there for years. The large animals were at least 6 feet long and had been raised in the backyard from eggs.

Larry Miller had no license for the animals so officials were forced to intervene. A nearby day care was another reason authorities felt the need to take the animals. Miller countered that the animals were docile and non-threatening, but legally he was not allowed to have them in his backyard.

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Miller was devastated on Thursday as he helped move the animals to Gatorland, a wildlife preserve that specializes in alligators. His wife Lisa spoke to the media explaining that Miller was devastated to the events and had raised the animals as his babies, after losing his parents.

The Millers have a week to forfeit ownership of the wild animals or apply for a permit to relocate them to a new preserve of their choice.

Living with Gators

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, gators inhabit all 67 counties in the state. As the population has increased in Florida, many have been forced to seek waterfront homes and because of that interactions between alligators and humans have increased. Because of that there is also a greater potential for conflict. So what to do if you encounter one of these animals?

  • Never feed an alligator. Not only is it illegal in the state, but it's also not a great idea. Once a gator is fed they can overcome their wariness toward people and start seeking them out. Once this happens, usually the animal has to be put down.
  • Dispose of fish scraps properly. If they end in nearby bodies of water, alligators may relocate to that area expecting food.
  • If you're bitten, get medical attention immediately. Alligators bites can be highly infections.

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