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Florida Woman Battles FWC Over Trained Pet Gator

March 15, 2016


A Lakeland woman recently became entangled in a dispute with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission over her pet alligator, Rambo.  Mary Thorn has held an alligator license for fifteen years and has kept Rambo in her home.  This year, FWC told Thorn that, because Rambo has grown, Thorn is now required to provide Rambo with 2.5 acres of living room.  Thorn argues that even if she had the land, Rambo could not live outdoors because of his sensitivity to light. 


Rule 68A-6.003, Florida Administrative Code, requires all those licensed to own Class II wildlife, to maintain a facility built on no less than 2.5 acres.  Alligators under four feet are exempt from this acreage requirement.  Because the acreage rule went into effect after Thorn owned Rambo, there is a possibility that Rambo may be grandfathered in.  The FWC case is still open and under investigation with no specific timeline for resolution.



For more information, see:

  • Adrienne Cutway, Orlando Sentinel, "Florida woman fighting to keep trained pet gator" March 16,










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