One of the hands down best viral stories of 2016 had to do with a Florida woman named Mary Thorn who was fighting to keep her beloved pet Rambo, a trained, nearly six-foot-long alligator that had been her companion for over a decade. Back in March, the party poopers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were investigating Thorn due to regulations that alligators over four feet in length could not be kept in a residential area without at least two-and-a-half acres of space.
Not only does Thorn love Rambo like a family member, but at the time she claimed that he would be ill-equipped to be released in with other gators due to cruelty he suffered prior to her adopting him. But after nearly a year long battle, this month Thorn received good news! State officials have dropped the case and Rambo will remain in his home, with some added stipulations.
Thorn is no longer allowed to showcase the trained gator in public. Effectively halting Rambo’s appearances at conservation classes, charity and education events.
Rambo, who is potty trained and is often dressed up in costumes, has been a teaching resource for kids for years across the Tampa Bay area. “They could have a gator that they can come up to and touch and feel so they don’t do it in the wild and they don’t break the law,” said Thorn.
Seems like a small price to pay for getting to keep your pet gator. Perhaps this will mean good news for another similar case out of Florida this year, in which a man was fighting to keep his 13-foot-long alligator named “Gwendolyn” that he had kept for nearly five decades from being taken from him. Everybody gets a gator for Christmas this year!