Is It Legal To Own A Pet Alligator in Michigan?
It feels like lately we've seen a lot of news stories about people finding alligators around West Michigan in places they don't belong.
You may have seen that back in June, an alligator was found in a vehicle when someone was pulled over during a high speed chase in Lake County.
Or, you may have read in July that a4 to 5 foot alligator was spotted in the river in Kalamazoo and caused the closure of Whitehouse Nature Center on Sunday, July 10th out of an abundance of caution.
So now that it's a new month, it seems we are due for yet another alligator spotting. This time, an alligator was found in Kalamazoo and captured by the Kalamazoo Department of public safety.
Obviously, it seems we have a small alligator problem in Michigan... but, are we supposed to? Is it legal to own an alligator in Michigan?
Can you have an alligator as a pet in Michigan?
Technically - Yes. Michigan has banned the sale and ownership of pets that arne't native to america, but if it's something that lives within the contenential US you can legally have it as a pet. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Several local codes do not allow Alligators within city limits, so you'll want to check before you commit.
While you can buy these 4-5 inch reptiles at exotic pet shows, they frequently grow larger than expected and people abandon them when they become too much to take care of.
So if you spot a gator wandering around Michigan. Make sure you call Michigan DNR and help find that little lizard a proper home where it belongs.