Monday, May 30, 2016

Go Rambo!

Florida Woman Fights to Keep Her Pet Alligator Who Wears Clothes and 'Rides' ATVs
ABC News (article excerpt) - March 17, 2016

Meet Rambo, a gentle alligator whose Florida owner says he "eats at the dinner table, sleeps in my bed and follows me around like my dogs."

Thorn told ABC News today that she's had a permit to keep the 15-year-old alligator ever since she rescued and brought him home more than seven years ago, when Rambo was just a little over a foot long.

However, the gator has since grown to be over 6 feet long, and a recently added condition for a permit says that gators over 6 feet need to be kept on a property with at least 2.5 acres of land, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) spokesman Gary Morse.

Meanwhile, Thorn still has Rambo and is rallying community support for the gator she calls her "second son."

She explained that Rambo is a local celebrity and has been the star of small shows Thorn has put on for a few charities and organizations in her area.

"He is not a normal gator," Thorn said. "He doesn't bite. When I first got him, I trained him to keep [his snout] tight shut whenever people are around, especially children."

The self-proclaimed "gator momma" said she doesn't believe in taking wild alligators from their natural habitat, but because Rambo had come to her under unique conditions, he needs to stay domesticated.

"He's too weak, and if he's put out in the wild or in a place with other gators, they'll kill him," she said. "He's also scared of outdoor noises, and he's just used to being home with me. This is where he's been his whole life and he's attached to me."

Thorn added that Rambo plays with her other dogs at home, goes to the fridge when he's hungry and even watches TV with her on the couch.

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