Texas homeowner admits to hiding away stingrays, turtle and alligator in home, officials say

The man told law enforcement that he brought home the alligator to show it off to his kids

Pictured is a stringray and an alligator snapping turtle that was captured in southeast Texas, courtesy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. (Texas Parks and Wildlife)

A Southeast Texas homeowner admitted to law enforcement that he captured an alligator and took it home to show his kids. But that’s not the only illegal creature he was found to have in his possession, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens.

Officials said the incident happened in August when the homeowner caught a 4- to 5-foot-long alligator in Lake Conroe.

A concerned citizen reported the alligator to authorities and said the man was keeping it in his backyard. When officials came to investigate, the man confessed to the alligator’s capture but said he had released it the next day.

However, he wasn’t in the clear just yet, as officials eventually came across “a room full of aquariums” in his home.

The aquariums reportedly housed freshwater stingrays and a small alligator snapping turtle -- all of which are illegal to possess.

“As the largest freshwater turtle in North America and a threatened species, it is illegal to capture or possess one without a permit,” Game Wardens said in a release.

The homeowner agreed to assist authorities in relocating the animals to “better-suited facilities.”

Game Wardens say the turtle was taken to the Spring Creek Nature Center and the stingrays are being housed at Moody Gardens.

It’s unknown if the homeowner will be charged at this time.


About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.