GREENWOOD, Mo. -- About a half-dozen American alligators have been turned over to a Greenwood exotic rescue center. The gators, some as big as four feet long, were found roaming around a house that was up for sale.
Dana Savorelli, the owner of Monkey Island, said he was called to rescue three of the alligators from a house that was on the market.
“You sure don't want some real estate person walking into show something with alligators shooting through the house, and these are probably three or four footers, and these particular ones were pretty nasty as far as temperament,” Savorelli said. “They had went through two bedrooms, down the stairs and ended up in the basement when I went and got them.
Savorelli says often well-meaning people buy exotic pets and don't know how to care for them, and they end up at a rescue center like Monkey Island, if they're lucky.
“People pass away, animals are left behind. People can't handle them, don't know how to work with them, divorces, there are so many things that homeless animals can come from,” Savorelli said.
Savorelli said two other gators were found in an abandoned building in Kansas City and picked up by animal control. Suzanne Windsor, who works at Monkey Island, says it’s a lot of hard work to care for these reptiles.
“It's not throw it in the cage, throw it some food and you're done. That's not what it takes; you've got to really keep a good eye on them. You want them to be healthy and you want them to be happy, and you want them to be well cared for,” Windsor said. “You always got to be on the alert. You are not going to sit down on the couch with them like you would your dog or home cat. You've got to treat them differently.”
Savorelli says Monkey Island takes in six to 10 alligators a year. He says his goal for the gators is to send them to a warmer climate so they can live outside year-round and have a permanent home.