Long Lake alligator finds new home at Michigan Reptile Sanctuary

OSCEOLA – The tiny American alligator who took a 4th of July beach weekend in Long Lake will soon be off to a new home.

Earlier this month, J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue in Menasha took in the alligator and kept it for a week to give the owner a chance to come forward.

Someone showed up, but after some discussion, the rescue and the owner decided the alligator would be happier in a sanctuary, according to the rescue’s Facebook page.

Now the alligator has arrived in Michigan, where it will remain at the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary reptile sanctuary, J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue owner John Moyles announced Tuesday.

J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue has set up a fundraiser on Facebook to help cover shipping costs, and if additional funds are raised, they will go to the other animals in the rescue.

According to the Facebook page, the alligator was kept in an outdoor cage, but it was not properly secured that day. It’s one of the few ways alligators end up at a rescue, alongside voluntary surrender and owners leaving them behind, Moyles said.

It was the fourth alligator in the rescue since Moyles opened the rescue more than two years ago. Although alligators are sent to sanctuaries due to the amount of care they need, the rescue supports many types of aquatic animals and helps them find new homes.

The rescue is accepting donations for the care and rehousing of animals that come in, including a lizard with a shed restrained in its eyes named Gergit and a ball python with a swollen face named Chiquita.

It also waives adoption fees for accredited zoos, sanctuaries and educational institutions, which is the case for a sand boa heading to the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park.

Overwhelmed by an exotic animal? Return it safely to Fond du Lac on August 13

Moyles has been in the pet industry since 1996, which included exotic animal giveaway events in Fox Valley with Sea Grant.

One of those events is coming to Fond du Lac, with J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue hosting the Exotic Pet Surrender event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. August 13 at the Fond du Lac Public Library, 32 Sheboygan Street.

“Some pet owners who are unable to care for their animal may think that releasing the animal is the right thing to do,” Moyles said in a press release. “However, releasing a pet is harmful to the animal and the environment.”

Event organizers will accept fish, invertebrates, reptiles, pet birds, exotic small mammals and plants, no questions asked. Pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs and chickens will not be accepted.

Wisconsin Sugar Glider Sanctuary & Rescue, Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance, Winnebago Waterways and University of Wisconsin Sea Grant/Water Resources Institutes will join the event, sponsored by Festival Foods and DubiaRoaches.com, a live reptile food and supply store .

Animal ambassadors will be there to answer all your questions and a photo booth will allow visitors to take a photo with a rescued pet.

For more information about the event or J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue, email [email protected] or visit jraar.org.

Contact Daphne Lemke at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @daphlemke.

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