A tip-off from an anonymous informant led law enforcement authorities to a Floridian who had been audaciously harboring five baby alligators in his home bathtub. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reported this intriguing incident, which is not all that uncommon in Florida.
The incident report, which Fox News Digital obtained, revealed that the suspect, 38-year-old Robert Lee Robinson from Saint Cloud, was served a criminal citation on October 23. The citation was for unlawfully keeping wildlife without the necessary permit.
Upon receiving the confidential tip about Robinson’s unconventional house guests, Wildlife Commission officers decided to confirm the allegations firsthand. They arrived at Robinson’s residence at 12:50 p.m., only to find the anonymous tipster’s account spot-on.
A person sitting on the porch saw the officers and called for Robinson. Upon being confronted, Robinson confirmed the allegations that he was indeed hosting alligators in his bathroom. He then permitted the officers to enter his home and see for themselves.
After photographing and safely removing the young reptiles from Robinson’s premises, the wildlife officers ensured no other unauthorized creatures were lurking in the building. Officers later visited Robinson at his place of work.
Robinson admitted to police that he had caught the reptiles near a pond in Estates Park. He was subsequently issued a court citation.
The rescued alligators were returned to their natural habitat and released into Lake Tohopekaliga by the wildlife officers, according to the Commission’s report.
The Florida state law, specifically Chapter 379.409, classifies the act of possessing, injuring, killing, or capturing alligators or their eggs as a third-degree felony. Violating this law can result in penalties of up to five years in prison and a hefty fine of $5,000.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, based on data gathered from prosecutors statewide, stated that over the past two years, there have been six cases of Floridians – all hailing from Central Florida – facing criminal charges for illegally keeping alligators as pets on their property.