Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler commended the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation police for enforcing laws prohibiting the sale of wild animals in the county and state.
In one recent matter, an individual was prosecuted for the sale of wild animals in violation of the environmental conservation law for selling juvenile alligators, which were being sold as “dwarf alligators.”
The alligators were American alligators which can grow up to 15 feet long and weigh up to 1,000 pounds, although they normally grow to less than eleven feet and weigh less than 700 pounds.
A permit is required in New York State to sell or possess alligators.
“Not only is it important that the public not be defrauded when they purchase an animal, but some species can be dangerous to the owner as well as to the environment,” said Hoovler. “The sale of alligators is regulated in New York State because of the size and strength of these animals, as well as the fact that in the wild they would be considered an invasive species which could disrupt New York’s natural species. Although American alligators are no longer considered to be an endangered species, their skins are virtually identical to the skins of endangered crocodilians, such as the black caiman, and the unregulated sale of American alligators could further endanger theses other species, since it takes an expert to distinguish between their skins after they are made into products.”
In 2020, the District Attorney’s Office partnered with the DEC police to prosecute an individual in the business of illegally possessing and selling certain venomous snakes. Some of these snakes included Gaboon vipers, puff adders and various Asian pit-vipers.
These snakes were extremely dangerous that were sent to the Bronx Zoo, one of the very few organizations in our area authorized under the law to possess those types of snakes.