Image via Chicago Tribune

Illinois Man Kept a Pet Gator in His Basement for 26 Years and Nobody Knew

If history has shown us anything, it's that a pet gator is just a bad idea. 

An appliance repairman got the fright of his life when he walked down into the basement of a Lansing, Illinois home owned by Charles Price. At some point while the repairman was working, he noticed something making a noise underneath a large blanket in a container. Upon closer inspection, he discovered Price's six foot long pet gator.

Almost immediately, the repairman called the police. He also took a few photos with his cell phone (pictured above). Soon after, Sgt. Bill Shannon, of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, arrived on the scene.

"It was every bit of 200 pounds," said Shannon in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that Price had purchased his pet gator 26 years ago at a swap meet in Kankakee, Illinois. At that time, it was only a few inches long.

"It's very common, unfortunately, for endangered animals to be sold under the table," said Shannon.

We know that Price was charged with misdemeanor for unlawful possession of an endangered species in February of 2016. (That may sound strange, considering how prevalent American alligators are in the southern parts of the US, but in the state of Illinois, alligators are still considered an endangered species). The alligator was then evicted from his home. Beyond that, there has been no further update on the penalties imposed on Price or the gator's fate.

While providing only a diet of chicken breasts for the past quarter century, Price is lucky he didn't have any mishaps with his giant pet, especially when he let it out in his backyard every so often for some fresh air.

How in the world could his neighbors have had absolutely no idea?