Ever wonder what it would be like to own a pet alligator? A family in Los Angeles kept one secretly for almost 40 years!
On Monday, January 12, 2015 the Los Angeles Department of Animal Control seized a pet alligator from the Mattson home.
Jaxson, an 8-foot long female alligator, was found in a large crate under some debris behind the family’s home. Late last year authorities had received reports from neighbors around the Mattson family’s home, but did not find the alligator.
Jaxson was found inside a crate with two dead cats, leading investigators to believe that’s what the family was feeding her. Laura Mattson, Jaxson’s owner, denied those claims, saying she only fed her chicken and hotdogs. Numerous other cats and a large tortoise were found on the property as well.
The Mattson’s came into owning the alligator after Laura’s now-deceased husband Jim brought it home as a baby in the 70s. After his passing, she could not bear to get rid of her, stating that losing Jaxson was like losing Jim all over again.
It is illegal to have a alligator without a permit in the city of Los Angeles. Jaxson has been transported to the Los Angeles Zoo to be held while animal control continues their investigation.
Officials plan to present all evidence to the city’s attorney for a case against the family.