A cow calf and its owner are still missing after police found them sleeping next to a near 7-foot alligator.
Police arrived at a property in the Lakebay area of Washington on October 20 to find an alligator and cow calf cramped inside a container, nearby to where the 32-year-old owner of the property slept, the Pierce County Sheriff Department said in a news release.
Animal control had previously received a complaint about the property in the Lakebay area, but an investigation had found no animals. It was upon a second inspection that the animals were found.
A picture shows an alligator that was found in a shipping container. Officials removed it and sent it to a wildlife sanctuary.
Pierce County Sheriff
When they found the animals, the cow appeared to be very sick, the sheriff department said. Officers returned to the property on October 21 with a warrant to seize the alligator and check on the baby cow. The calf and the owner however were nowhere to be found.
Sergeant Darren Moss Jr., public information officer at the Pierce County Sheriff Department told Newsweek that there have since been no updates on the case. The person and the cow’s whereabouts remain a mystery. Alligators are not native to Washington, and it is illegal to own them as pets in the state.
“The alligator had free roam to move down to where the owner was sleeping. There was also just a small gate separating the gator from the baby calf. An alligator is a dangerous animal and people should not keep them for pets. They are kept at wildlife reserves and zoos, but there are usually trained professionals at those places and a lot more space that matches their natural habitats,” Moss said. “Insurance definitely won’t cover you having an alligator in your home or cover if someone else is attacked or injured by the animal. On top of all that, it is just flat out illegal to own alligators in Washington State.”
A video posted to Twitter shows officers attempting to transport the alligator from the shipping container to safety.
“You’re doing good buddy,” an officer can be heard saying, once the alligator is safely stowed in a vehicle. “You’re a good boy, you’re going to go play in a big open area.”
The alligator was then transported to the Tacoma Humane Society, where a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary took custody of the animal.
The alligator was found to be in good health with no illness or injuries. The sheriff department said it will now “get to spend its time in a large habitat rather than a tiny storage container.”