MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A man in Montgomery County was busted in August for illegally capturing and keeping an alligator and several invasive and endangered species at his home.
Montgomery County game wardens inspected the man’s property after a neighbor reported that he was keeping an alligator in his backyard, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The man admitted to capturing a 4-5 foot alligator from Lake Conroe and taking it home to show his kids. He told the wardens he released it the day after he brought the alligator home.
Wardens also discovered a room full of aquariums when they were inspecting the property, TPWD said. One of the wardens recognized some of the animals as freshwater stingrays, which are an invasive species and illegal to possess.
The man told the wardens he also removed a small alligator snapping turtle from Lake Livingston and was keeping it in one of the tanks.
Alligator snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in North America and are also a threatened species. It is illegal to capture or possess one without a permit, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said.
Wardens spoke with the man about the illegally captured animals and he agreed to help wardens locate them to better suited facilites.
The alligator snapping turtle was donated to Spring Creek Nature Center, which is permitted to possess native species and display them for educational purposes.
The freshwater stingrays were taken to Moody Gardens to help educate the public about different ecosystems and the harm that invasive species can cause to local wildlife.