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Texas woman raised 20-year-old alligator from stolen egg

The homeowner was cited and the gator removed to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

CALDWELL COUNTY, Texas — "Alligators don’t make good pets."

That’s the message from Texas Parks and Wildlife after removing one from a Texas homeowner’s backyard.

The game warden posted a video to social media showing the gator being taken from a Caldwell County home. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, the gator had received good care at the home but outgrew its habitat.

The gator was taken to Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels where it’ll be cared for by wildlife rehabilitators.

The woman told game wardens that the gator was a pet.

"It was very friendly with her," Game Warden Joann Garza said.

The problem was that the woman, who said she had taken care of it for two decades, didn't have the proper permits to have the gator as a pet.

"She did take it a little bit tough but she does still have to follow all of the rules and regulations in the state," Garza said.

Texas law allows people to keep alligators if they are farming, educating or using them for zoological reasons.

The woman told investigators that she stole an alligator egg while she was volunteering at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels.

Game wardens said the gator is healthy and was taken care of, but it had outgrown the space the woman provided. The gator was returned to Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo.

"Alligators will have a nest of 50, 60 eggs at a time, so it would have been very easy for someone to take an egg," Jarrod Forthman, who works at Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo, said. " You know, my heart goes out to her and we're going to give it a good home."

As for the homeowner, she received two Class C citations for having the gator at the home. She faces up to $1,000 in fines and fees. Charges for stealing the egg are past the statute of limitations.

The woman will be able to visit the gator at the zoo.

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