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Three-foot alligator missing from Jo Don Farms in Caledonia

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CALEDONIA -- There's a hunt on in Caledonia for a missing, three-foot American alligator named Boots. Officials say the alligator is not dangerous, and may be rebelling after being moved to a new exhibit.

The gator went missing from Jo Don Farms the morning of Friday, July 27th.

Bob Meyer, the president of Jo Don Farms says they took in Boots after someone fishing caught Boots in the Root River. He says the cold Wisconsin winters stunted the gator's growth, meaning he will remain about three feet long.

"He stayed in an itty bitty exhibit for so long, we tried to reward him by giving him a great big exhibit, and he didn't think much of it I guess," Meyer said.

Meyer insists Boots is no threat to people or their pets.

"He's an educational animal. His food is either small mice or small chicks and that's all he eats," Meyer said.

Meyer says he went to Florida to research how to build Boots' exhibit based on other alligator farms, and says Boots must have climbed out of the display. Meyer says only about 2% of all alligators climb.

Meyer says Boots survived about four years in the Root River, so he's not in danger, but he wants his alligator back.

"I feel bad because we're so careful, and we try to do everything right. I feel bad that he got out at all," Meyer said.

Jo Don Farms has several exotic animals on display, including a lion, two tigers and a couple cougars. Meyer insists they're kept in a secure area, and Boots' escape was a freak accident.

CLICK HERE for more on this story via the Caledonia Patch website.

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