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Posted by bigsnakedaddy on March 21, 2003 at 08:36:16:
In Reply to: Re: I know, I know posted by crocs4me on March 14, 2003 at 08:42:55:
::I would like to get an american alligator some time in the future. I'm 18, and before people say things about irresponsible teenagers, I have done many months of research about crocodilian care. I'm going to dig a pond to keep it in when it gets big (my family owns quite a large amount of land). I live in upstate S.C., around the Charlotte area. There are a few gators that appeared in Lake Wylie a couple of years ago, but I don't know if they're still there. Anyway, on to my questions.
::1. Does anyone know about the legalities of owning an alligator in South Carolina, or where I can find info?
::2. What do you feed your adult crocodilians, and where do you get the food?
::I do not plan on getting an alligator for a while, but I will have everything I need before I get one. My dream is to open my own reptile park one day. I do think that they are "cool", but that is not the real reason I love to keep reptiles. I deeply respect and love them, and I love to teach people about the importance of animals that are not cuddly. I do that now at elementary schools with my snakes, scorpions, and hissing roaches. I can just see the look on those kids faces when I show them a six foot alligator, and answer all of their questions. It is so awesome!!!!!!
:Hi and I can appreciate your excitement over wanting to own one of these ancient saurians, We all felt that way at one time or another...But for just one moment clear your mind and think of the big picture...How will i provide for this animal after it loses it's baby gator appeal and starts reaching that 6 foot length?..How will I move this animal around once it starts getting bigger?..Your asking all the right questions and the answer to your first question is: It is legal to own an alligator in south carolina without a permit...I find that quite surprising it being a southern state and all but thats what it says on the south carolina wildlife commission homepage...The answer to your other question is, find someone who owns a chicken farm and buy from them for some of it's food and check to see if you can find some fisheries around to get fresh fish for him..Word of warning, These guys can eat you out of house and home and the food bill can get quite expensive not to mention that crocodilians are a VERY high maintence animal..Got to keep thier habitat CLEAN to reduce any chance of it getting sick...Not many vets around will look at a sick gator so check and see if there is one in your area that will do so before buying him..The housing of these animals can be a challenge and it gets expensive as well..Got to make sure that it's cage or pen is escape proof..There is nothing more embarrassing to you or US for that matter than a neighbor calling you up and telling you your gator is in thier backyard and to come and get it out...Now just a bit of advice, Take it for what you want but it's good stuff...I would volunteer at a local zoo or reptile store or wholesaler in your area to get some much needed experince in handling and caring for one of these animals..These are very powerful animals and contrary to what you have heard..alligators are NOT tame animals...They can tolerate us for periods of time but just because they do not bite when you pick them up does not mean they won't and a bite from a 6 footer is serious trouble..Think about what I've said and get lots of information and some experince before bringing home your gator and remember, once you lay down the cash for one of these animals you signed a commitment for the next 50-70 years to care for it...If you can do that the RIGHT way then I wish you and your gator the very best of luck...Hope this helps
I wish you luck in your educational endeavors. It is not legal for private individuals to possess an american alligator in SC regardless of its origin. It is protected on a statewide level. You can however own other forms of crocodilians. Based on availability, current state/federal laws, temperment, and size constraints, you may want to consider dwarf caimen or smooth front caimen. Best of luck.