The alligator, which was abandoned in an apartment complex in Batavia, has found a new home in Farmington
When the state Department of Environmental Conservation picked up an alligator abandoned in an apartment building in Batavia, Britt Benjamin and John Truini from Wildlife Rockstars in Farmington knew they had to be the ones to give her a better life.
The 4-foot alligator was found when a police officer was in an apartment building for an unrelated issue. When the alligator was found, it was turned over temporarily to Seneca Park Zoo until a permanent facility could be found.
That permanent facility was found with the Wildlife Rockstars.
“We put our hat in the ring to give the animal a home, and we were amongst facilities all over. We were selected as the most appropriate site to take in the alligator after an extensive interview process, due to our suitable facility and knowledge and capacity to take care of a four-foot alligator,” said Truini, program director and founder of the Wildlife Rockstar program. Benjamin is the program manager.
The alligator showed signs of having been in a neglectful situation, and while at Seneca Park Zoo would not eat at all. Now, at Wildlife Rockstars, despite having no teeth (which will grow back), she’s eating and on track to becoming a healthy gator once again.
Not only did Wildlife Rockstars save the alligator, but it’ll be giving her a second lease on life and giving her a purpose by using her to educate school-aged children for years to come about recycling and being stewards of the environment.
She will also soon be used to educate the general public at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Besides sharing animal facts about this “amazing, almost prehistoric creature,” says Truini, they’re hoping to come up with a spin by talking not only about how they’re dangerous, and illegal in New York state, but about how it’s irresponsible to hold an animal that can’t be properly cared for. It’s a public safety concern.
The DEC says it comes across about one illegal alligator in this region per year, although recently there seems to have been an uptick in that number.
“This is not the first alligator I have seized during my career,” said Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Gary Wilson of the NYS Environmental Conservation Police via email. “The alligator was discovered by the Batavia City Police Department when they were investigating a 911 hang up at a warehouse.
“An Officer heard some commotion under a tarp, where he found a lined wooden container with said alligator in water. Their protocol was to call the local ECO for wild animals. I responded and easily captured the animal with my catch pole. Taping the mouth and hind legs rendered it harmless. I promptly transported it to the Seneca Park Zoo,” Wilson continued.
Until the alligator is ready to be shown off at RMSC, the Wildlife Rockstars will be holding a naming competition for her. Wildlife Rockstars names all of their animals after famous rockstars, and they’re looking for the public’s input on what to name its new addition. Visit facebook.com/WildlifeRockstars for more information.