CLEVELAND — The nearly frozen alligator found in the shallow waters of Big Creek in near Steelyard Commons has been given a new home.
‘Jenni’ is the latest animal to be taken in by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The 25-inch long gator is thought to have been dumped by her owners, and will undergo a 30-day quarantine at the zoo’s Center for Zoological Medicine. If the alligator clears the routine quarantine she will be moved to the Conservation Education Division, and be part of the zoo’s Conservation Education programs.
According to Jeannie Chapman, the public information specialist for NEORSD, there is speculation the reptile may have been released to avoid the cost of new exotic animal regulations.
Ohio’s exotic ban registration deadline was Monday, Nov. 5. Owners of lions, bears, tigers certain snakes, monkeys, alligators and other animals are required to register with the state, pay fines, undergo background checks, get insurance and post warning signs on their property.
Those caught violating the new ban will face a first-degree misdemeanor, possible $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. A second violation results in a felony.
Questions about exotic animals may be directed to the Ohio Department of Agriculture at (614) 466-2732.