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Published: Thursday, 6/26/2003

Police answer call, find alligator

A domestic-violence investigation turned up more than a quarreling couple Tuesday afternoon.

Toledo police Officer Sonya Newton-Butler found a five-foot alligator in the basement of a residence at 1119 Woodruff Ave. The alligator was found in a children's pool. Police called Tom Griesinger, owner of Wildlife Unlimited, to take away the toothy reptile.

Mr. Griesinger said one of the home's residents, Julius Greene, told him he kept the alligator as a pet.

“That alligator could have gotten out of that pool at any time and wandered around the basement, but it looked like it was pretty content to stay in the water,” Mr. Griesinger said. “I would have been concerned about that.”

Mr. Griesinger said the alligator was the longest and most aggressive he's taken from a Toledo home in the past two years. He said more than likely the gator will be destroyed.

Because the alligator has been domesticated, it would be difficult to return it to the wild, he explained, and zoos often won't take the creatures.

In 1996, city council passed an ordinance prohibiting Toledoans from possessing “wild or dangerous animals.”

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