SCOTTSDALE, AZ - The Phoenix Herpetological Society is swamped you might say. The non-profit rescued nine alligators in just the past two weeks. Three of the reptiles were confiscated here in Arizona, the others were rescued from Ohio and California.
Last week an alligator was seized from a Tempe apartment .
Curator Dan Marchand said there is no real reason for the surge and that people illegally owning the dangerous animals is a constant problem. Most of the recently seized alligators were young. At least one had damage to its feet caused by improper care.
"People get them when the are 12 inches long and in a year they are two feet long, and in another year three," he said. "Then they get to a point where people can't handle them."
Marchand said many times people simply let the animals go when they get too large creating a public danger.
The Phoenix Herpetological Society currently houses over 1,400 exotic reptiles. It is the only sanctuary of its kind in the country which is why they are at the forefront of rescues nationwide.
The snakes and gators and other reptiles are rehabilitated and then placed in zoos or other wildlife facilities around the country.