Lakeland resident can keep 4-foot gator as house pet

- Mary Thorn can now continue giving her pet gator all the smooches and love she wants. It's a new designation that her alligator, Rambo, has as a personal pet.

A year and a half ago a Florida Fish and Wildfire inspector said Rambo had grown too big, "Over 4 foot you got to have 2.5 acres of land, which isn't going to do him any good because he's sun sensitive and can't use the land." Thorn tell us.

FWC gave Rambo to Mary four years ago. His previous owner kept him in a tank in the dark, that's why he's smaller than other gators.

He has skin problems, and needs a layer of clothing to protect him from the sun. He can't walk very well, and Mary says he's defenseless in the wild and quite docile. 18 months later the fight is over and FWC says she can keep Rambo but he can't do charity shows, "He does so many charities, he does community service, to raise money, he can't do that anymore because he can't be exhibited."

The new regulation also says if Rambo's around anyone else but Mary, or off of her property, his snout has to be tapped, "It's just cruel to him but that's one of the rules to keep him."

Mary has trained gators all her life, and while she loves Rambo, she doesn't advise that anyone take on the task, "I want people to stay away from gators and leave them in their environment because that's where they are better off."

FWC did not return FOX 35’s request for comment.

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