LAKEBAY, Wash. – Police deputies and animal control officers in Pierce County, Washington, made quite the find last week after a video showed them wrangling and removing a massive alligator discovered in a shipping container.
According to a Facebook post by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, animal control had received a complaint about an unidentified resident living on a property in Lakebay, Washington, possessing an alligator.
However, when deputies and animal control officers first investigated reports of the alligator, it was not located on the property.
But when it was investigated a second time on Oct. 20, the alligator was spotted by animal control in a small tub inside a shipping container.
Also in the container, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, was a very sick calf and a mattress for the 32-year-old owner to sleep with inside the container with the animals.
Animal control officers returned to the property the next day with a warrant to seize the alligator and check on the silk calf.
Deputies noted that it is illegal in Washington state to possess an alligator.
The man and the calf were nowhere to be found, but "Al," the alligator, was still in the shipping container.
Animal control officers got the 6-foot 7-inch alligator out of the small tub and held him down while a deputy assisted with taping the gator’s mouth shut.
The video shows deputies and animal control officers transporting the alligator onto a mover and placing it into the animal control vehicle.
The animal was then taken to the Tacoma Humane Society, where a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary met with them and took custody of the gator.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said the alligator was reported to be in good health and will spend its time in a larger habitat rather than in a tub sitting in a storage container.
"None of our deputies knew what they would be seeing that day, but you can bet they will have stories to tell for a lifetime about this encounter," the sheriff’s department said in the Facebook post.