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Owner in hot water for reptile

County says 2-foot-long caiman in good condition

Posted: May 21, 2012 9:51 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2012 9:51 p.m.

This photo from the county shows the 2-foot-long caiman confiscated in Saugus.

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Dogs without tags and cats up trees just don't compare to animal control officers having to collar a 2-foot-long caiman - an alligator-like reptile - from a home in Saugus.

On May 17, officers with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control confiscated a 4-year-old American caiman from a home on the 27000 block of Ron Ridge Drive.

Animal control officers learned about the presence of the caiman, a member of a subfamily of the family alligatoridaes, by way of a call from the county Probation Department.

The confiscated caiman was in good condition, according to a news release from Animal Care and Control.

Animal control officers are now trying to find a home for the reptile - one permitted to house such animals.

It is illegal to own or house caimans in the county unless it is in a facility sanctioned with a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game.

"This incident serves as a reminder that caimans are not meant to be pets," said Castaic Animal Care Manager Karen Stepp.

"In addition to being illegal, they are dangerous, unpredictable and can severely harm humans," she said.

While the caiman is in need of a permitted place to live, its owner is behind bars and now facing charges in connection with owning the animal, animal control officers reported.




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