125-pound alligator wears clothing and rides a motorcycle with his owner!
Sometimes a story comes along that is just too bizarre to make up. That’s the case with a Florida woman fighting to keep her beloved pet alligator that wears clothing and takes regular motorcycle rides with her!
Mary Thorn’s beloved six-foot long, 15-year-old alligator named Rambo lives with her in her Lakeland Florida home. Apparently, the swamp isn’t the place for the 125 pound gator which Thorn has had since he was four.
“Everyone will tell you that I treat that animal like a baby,” Thorn told the Orlando Sentinel. “He doesn’t do anything a normal gator does.”
Rambo lives inside Thorn’s home where he has his own bedroom. He even shares a bed with her. The gator wears clothes, custom-made by Thorn herself and she takes him out for motorcycle rides. Thorn takes her beloved pet to many schools and events where he often interacts with children.
At these events, his mouth is never taped shut, either. She trained Rambo not to bite or scratch humans.
“He loves kids and when kids come around he shuts his mouth really tight so fingers can’t go in his mouth,” Thorn said.
But now Rambo faces an uncertain future due to Florida laws governing the keeping of gators in captivity. Thorn has had a license to keep Rambo the entire time, but since he hit the six foot mark, he runs into potential legal trouble.
Florida law requires a captive alligator that reaches six feet in length to have 2.5 acres of land available. While Thorn’s property isn’t large enough, the rule on 2.5 acres went into effect after she acquired Rambo. This might mean Thorn’s gator could be grandfathered in under the old rules, but Fish and Wildlife are still investigating the matter.
Thorn told the Orlando Sentinel that Rambo wouldn’t use the full 2.5 acres anyway because the alligator spends his time inside due to the fact he has sensitivity to sunlight, something not uncommon in captive alligators.
While she’s had an offer from a reptile zoo near Tampa to take Rambo off her hands, she’s afraid the gator is too docile and may die from the stress of being moved to a new situation.
There’s currently a petition on Change.org that’s racked up just under 400 signatures in support of Thorn and her scaly friend.
Thorn told the Orlando Sentinel she’s also looking the possibility of having the alligator certified as a therapy animal. According to Thorn’s Facebook page, she’s also emailed the governor to try and gain support for Rambo. “Everybody is taking it pretty hard because they know how much I love the gator,” Thorn told the Orlando Sentinel.
Images via the Orlando Sentinel