Here is a way to explain why alligators are appearing more and more places they shouldn’t be.
Drug dealers, long associated with aggressive dogs like pit bulls, are of late opting for a more cold-blooded accomplice to protect their business interests: the alligator.
The scaly version of the guard dog isn’t showing up just in drug dens near its native Southern swamplands, police are finding the reptiles in raids from Oakland to Philadelphia.
Last month, during a raid in Baltimore, police found three small alligators while searching the apartment of a suspected dealer. That case was among a smattering of reports linking alligator ownership to drug dealers seeking to guard their stashes or simply send a message.
The curious phenomenon of drug dealers owning alligators could be faddish or coincidental, but it has some logic behind it, wildlife researchers say.
“The predominate way people think of alligators is as this fierce man-eating predator,” said Mark Barrow, chairman of Virginia Tech’s history department who is studying the cultural history of the American alligator. “I’m not terribly surprised that some folks may want to have these things to be cool.”
Call in the Gator Boys! Seriously, this is a shame. It’s not far fetched to think that people have this bright idea of a toothy guard. But it’s profoundly dumb (no one said criminals were that smart or moral). The animals suffer in this environment and are likely ill-treated because they need special care most people are not equiped to give. As the article notes, they are not loyal and can’t be trained very much. While pit bulls end up abandoned on the streets and pose a danger to the public, they end up in shelters by the hundreds in a very sad state of affairs. The reptiles will most certainly perish or be killed other than escape very far. Or they may be dumped where they could potentially pose a hazard to small pets and children. There is also a decent chance they will bite off the hand that feeds them.