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What's the world coming to when you can't keep your 750 Lbs

After 34 years of bliss the Feds swoop in and take Albert away. The guy makes one mistake on his permit and BAM. No more GATOR!


Albert's going to be a sideshow attraction as some Disney World for Reptiles.


I was going to buy a giant Rhinoceros for our Arl Heights Place (now that the kids are gone) but why bother? Big Brother will eventually come along and burst our balloon.


There's only one person who can make this right. Donald Trump. He loves giant zoo animals.


Albert the Alligator’s owner an emotional wreck after NY takes 750-pound live-in pet away: ‘I don’t sleep’

By Alex Oliveira, NY Post

Published May 19, 2024


Taking away his best friend was a cold-blooded thing to do.


An upstate New York man who kept a 750-pound pet alligator in his house is an emotional wreck after government agents hauled his pal away – and he sees the same heartbreak in Albert’s scaly face.


“I know his look, and that happy face that you see is not there no more,” an emotional and sleepless Tony Cavallaro told The Post. “He looks very lost and very distraught.




“I see the look in his face,” Cavallaro said about the blind, 34-year-old alligator that was shipped to a new home in Texas this month. “Reptiles express a lot, they have as much expression as humans, you just don’t see it a lot because there’s scales.”


In March, Albert was taken from Cavallaro’s home in Hamburg, outside of Buffalo – where he kept him in an elaborate pen that cost more than $120,000 to install. The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) raided the abode after an anonymous allegation that Cavallaro had allowed people to swim with the reptile, as officials said Albert had been kept without a permit since 2021.


After weeks without knowing where Albert was, Cavallaro learned through the news on May 8 that he’d been shipped to Beaumont, Texas, to be housed at Gator Country Adventure Park – where Cavallaro fears Albert will be turned into a money-making circus animal.


“They’re using them as a giant money grab, ‘World famous alligator from Hamburg, New York,'” Cavallaro railed. “It’s a money grab and it’s disgusting that they’re using them for that.”


Gator Country bills itself as a sanctuary housing over 450 gators rescued from bad situations, and backed up claims made by the DEC that Albert had developed serious health conditions like spinal deformities from living in New York – but Cavallaro thinks those claims are bogus.


“Everybody that knows me and knows how I took care of this animal knows that they’re lying,” Cavallaro said, vehemently disputing claims made by Gator Country to 12 News that Albert had been living in a basement pond with water that hadn’t been changed in nearly 10 years.


“Everything about everything is just so wrong,” Cavallaro said, adding that he thinks “90%” of what his critics have said about him is “non-stop lies” and that he was never given a chance to argue his case before Albert was sent away.


Gator Country declined to comment when reached by The Post.


The DEC said in a statement that Albert was set to the “authorized alligator rehabilitation facility” after an extensive examination and initial rehabilitation by a vet in Massachusetts.


“The move was scheduled only after the alligator was cleared by a veterinarian and demonstrated a substantial health improvement following weeks of medical care, access to an appropriate diet and necessary UV light, and other living conditions conducive to its recovery,” The DEC said.


“Due to the ongoing enforcement investigation, the Town of Hamburg Court provided the required authorization to transport.”


The gator is now apparently housed in a fenced, custom enclosure, while the animal can be viewed from a distance.


Albert was seized by the DEC back in March after an anonymous allegation that Cavallaro had let people swim with him


Cavallaro has considered making the trek down to Texas to visit his old friend, but doesn’t know if he – and Albert – will be able to handle the anguish.


“He’s gonna see me and then I’m gonna have to leave him, and that’s gonna destroy him even more.


“I’d just go up to him and say ‘Hey buddy. Hey buddy,’” Cavallaro said, his voice trembling with emotion. “I’d start bawling my eyes out. I know I would. I know darn well it’s gonna be horrible. The whole thing. I’m gonna see him and it’s just gonna bust me up. I bust every time I see his face on TV… he misses his own pool.


“He’s friendly as friendly a gator as you ever wanna meet.”


Back home, Cavallaro is trying to stay strong for Albert as he prepares for a legal fight to get him back. In April, he hosted a fundraiser for legal fees which drew dozens of supporters sporting “Free Albert” t-shirts.


Cavallaro and his team are looking into legal action for defamation, he said, and also into whether the DEC had any right to take Albert at all citing claims that he tried to renew his permits in 2021 but that his outreach was repeatedly ignored.


Documents obtained by WGRZ corroborated Cavallaro’s claims that the DEC simply ignored him after repeated attempts to renew his permits. The DEC had said Cavallaro never sent in a permit after rule changes in 2020, and never addressed safety issues and alleged deficiencies in Albert’s pen.


But until the fight gets underway, every day without Albert is draining Cavallaro.


“I’m really upset about it. I’m genuinely super hurt,” Cavallaro said of the reptile that he raised from a hatchling. “They ruined my life over this. I can’t get motivated over nothing. I don’t sleep. I don’t know what to do anymore.”


“My house feels so empty. I can’t explain it. You have somebody for that long, and you’re attached to them. That’s more than half my life. And it’s just a horrible feeling,” he said.


“It would have been 34 years this August I would have had him. And he’s 34 years old this June. Now they’re using him as an exhibit. It’s just horrible, horrible what they’re doing.”


Cavallaro said he would be happy to have Albert transferred to a sanctuary in Florida he is familiar with – but that if he does manage to win his buddy back he knows exactly what he’s doing.


“If I get him back I’m bringing him down to Florida and I’m moving out of this godforsaken state,” he said.

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