Authorities Seize Alligator Being Held Illegally in Home Near Buffalo

The alligator’s name was Albert Edward.

He was 11 feet long, 750 pounds heavy and 34 years old, and until this week, he lived in a pool house attached to his owner’s home in Hamburg, N.Y., about 13 miles south of Buffalo.

But the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation removed Albert from his home on Wednesday after it determined that he was being kept there illegally, the department said in a Facebook post.

The alligator’s owner had built an addition to his house where Albert lived in an in-ground swimming pool, according to the department. The agency also said that the owner had allowed people, including children, to be in the pool with Albert, who is blind in both eyes and has spinal injuries.

It is illegal to own an alligator in New York unless you have a license, according to a statement from the department. But those licenses are only for “scientific, educational, exhibition, zoological or propagation purposes,” the department’s website said.

“To be clear, even if the owner was appropriately licensed, public contact with the animal is prohibited and grounds for license revocation and relocation of the animal,” the department said in the statement.

The agency said that Albert’s owner, Tony Cavallaro, had a license for the alligator, but it expired in 2021. In an interview, Mr. Cavallaro, 64, said that while visitors to his home did sometimes take pictures with Albert, they never swam with him or rode him. Instead, they would briefly get in the water for a quick photo with the animal, often when he was sleeping, Mr. Cavallaro said.

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