MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police came upon a five-foot 70-pound alligator kept as a house pet. MPD posted photos of the alligator discovered in a home by MPD District 2 officers Tuesday night, August 14th.
MPD officers took the alligator to Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control.
The homeowner spoke with FOX6 News after the alligator was seized and said he is upset the animal was removed from his home, because he considered the animal part of his family.
"His name was Wally. Wally-Gator," Lee Rau said.
Unsuspecting neighbors were shocked to learn Rau kept the reptile in a bedroom for the past three years.
"When it started getting bigger, we had to keep moving him from cage to cage, so we were surprised too when it got that big," Rau said.
Rau says he was feeding the alligator fish, crickets and frozen rats.
MADACC officials say the alligator is dangerous.
"The larger they are the more dangerous they are. If he did want to bite, he could inflict a pretty nasty wound. They can carry various diseases. Certainly salmonella is possibility so any guests coming into the house that are going to be anywhere around where this thing has been has the possibility of picking up more exotic diseases," a MADACC official told FOX6 News.
Rau says he and his family didn't know keeping Wally-Gator as a pet was illegal in Milwaukee.
Police have not said how they were tipped off about the alligator being inside the home. They have also not said whether the alligator's owner will face any charges.
According to MADACC, each municipality has some sort of ordinance prohibiting reptiles like Wally-gator to some degree.