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An alligator that was reportedly rescued from a New Mexico home during a criminal investigation has been transferred to a zoo in Albuquerque.
The three-foot alligator, whose name and sex haven’t been revealed, was taken in by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish before it was handed over to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, according to a report from KOB4 – a local news outlet.
A spokesperson for the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish told Fox News Digital that details about the alligator’s capture can’t be revealed because an investigation is still in progress.
Most counties and city ordinances do not allow private ownership of wild or exotic animals, according to a note written on the department’s non-game exotic animal or wildlife “held as pets” importation permit application.
The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish’s application advises aspiring exotic pet owners to contact their local Animal Control or Regulatory Divisions for guidance.
“It shall be unlawful to import any live non-domesticated animal into New Mexico without first obtaining appropriate permit(s) issued by the director except those animals identified within the species importation list group I,” says New Mexico’s Administrative Code Title 19, chapter 35, part 7 (126.96.36.199), which outlines the importation laws of live non-domesticated animals.
“The state game commission must review any permit application for the importation of any carnivore that will be held, possessed or released on private property for the purpose of recovery, reintroduction, conditioning, establishment or reestablishment in New Mexico,” the state code goes on. “The director shall only issue a department permit in accordance with commission direction following their review of an application submitted under this section of rule.”
Permits are issued to individuals who meet all the application requirements and provisions, the code says.
People who fail to adhere to or violate set permit provisions may become ineligible for the importation of their non-domesticated animal.
“The pendency or determination of any administrative action or the pendency or determination of a criminal prosecution for the same is not a bar to the other,” the code concludes.
Fox News Digital reached out to representatives at ABQ BioPark Zoo for comment.
Zoo officials told KOB4 that the rescued alligator appears to be three or four years of age. The animal is currently being quarantined and will likely remain that way for at least 30 days.
ABQ BioPark Zoo is a 65-acre property that’s located in Rio Grande, Albuquerque.
The zoo first opened to the public in 1927, and now it’s reportedly home to more than 900 animals from around the world.
The ABQ BioPark Zoo’s website says it offers “close encounters with exotic and native animals.”