Man Launches Petition to Reclaim 34-Year-Old Alligator Seized by Authorities

Tony Cavallaro, a 64-year-old man from an undisclosed location, is fighting to reunite with his longtime companion, Albert, a 12-foot, 750-pound alligator, after authorities seized the reptile. Cavallaro, who has owned Albert for 34 years, describes the alligator as his “emotional support animal” and has launched a petition to bring him back home.

The ordeal began when law enforcement officials, reportedly acting on behalf of the Department of Environmental Conservation, confiscated Albert from Cavallaro’s care. The alligator was sedated and had its mouth taped before being taken to an unknown location by the state agency.

According to NPR, the Department of Environmental Conservation cited Cavallaro’s expired license to keep Albert, which reportedly expired in 2021. Additionally, the agency alleges that Cavallaro endangered others by allowing them to interact with Albert, including petting and swimming with the reptile in its pool.

Despite the agency’s claims, Cavallaro vehemently denies that Albert poses any threat to others. He has hired a lawyer and is determined to bring his beloved alligator back home.

In a Facebook post, Cavallaro expressed the anguish he feels over the separation from Albert, stating, “I can’t express how much this is destroying my life. I miss him so much… I’m mentally and physically exhausted.”

Support for Cavallaro and Albert has been pouring in from friends and strangers alike. A petition on calling for Albert’s return has garnered over 120,000 signatures. Some supporters have even created “Free Albert” T-shirts and buttons to raise awareness of the situation.