NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York couple who kept a 3-foot (1-meter) alligator at home has been indicted for harboring a prohibited wild animal.
While executing a search warrant on October 1, police found the reptile in a tank in the living room of Michael and Alisa Volpe’s basement apartment in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gravesend, according to the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
In addition to two misdemeanor charges related to the alligator, the couple also faced multiple charges of possessing illegal weapons and drugs in an indictment announced on Tuesday.
New York City’s health code prohibits residents from harboring wild animals like alligators.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said this was the first time in memory that anyone in the borough has been charged with keeping an alligator.
Still, exotic animals do make an appearance from time to time in New York neighborhoods. In 2011, Animal Care and Control of New York rescued six alligators, according to a spokesman.
In September, 13 animals, including two alligators, were removed from an apartment in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.
Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Jim Loney