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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UPDATE / #gatorrescue :: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is Jenni's new home

This two-foot-long American alligator—affectionately named Jenni—was rescued from Big Creek in Cleveland last Thursday. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo picked her up this morning and will care for her as part of the zoo's outreach program.

See you later, alligator.

"Jenni," the alligator rescued by a Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District crew from Big Creek near Jennings and Harvard Road, has found a new home at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

The 25-inch-long alligator will be in routine quarantine for 30 days at the Zoo’s Center for Zoological Medicine to assess its condition. When it clears the quarantine period, it will be transferred to the Zoo’s Conservation Education Division, where it will be part of the Zoo’s Conservation Education programs including outreach.

On Thursday, November 8, a surveyor saw the reptile in Big Creek near a sewer outfall and alerted Sewer District crews who were conducting maintenance on the agency’s Jennings Road Pump Station; the outfall is located behind the pump station. Sewer District employees were able to catch the alligator, and place it in a secure container with warm water. The Ohio Department of Agriculture, who oversees regulatory compliance of exotic pets—like alligators—was notified.

To ensure its safety, the Sewer District crews transported the alligator to the Sewer District’s EMSC facility located at 4747 East 49th Street in Cuyahoga Heights. Sewer District laboratory staff had been caring for the animal from Thursday until late this morning.

Read the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo release | Read the story on cleveland.com

Given that deadline for registering exotic animals with the Ohio Department of Agriculture was on Monday, November 5, 2012, there is speculation that the animal may have been released to avoid the costs of the new regulations. However, it has not been confirmed. As a precaution, though, Sewer District officials would like strongly urge owners of exotic pets not to release any type of reptile into local waterbodies or in sewers.

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