Gator Stolen From Texas Zoo 20 Years Ago Returns Home

The alligator was stolen as an egg or hatchling, officials said

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An eight-foot alligator has been returned to her home after Texas Game Wardens discovered her living illegally in a home south of Austin.

Texas Game Wardens investigating a "hunting without landowner consent" call discovered the gator at a home in Caldwell County.

Investigators said the homeowner was a volunteer at Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels decades ago and took an alligator egg home and kept it as a pet for about 20 years.

"Out of concern for the animal she put it in her pocket took it home and finished hatching it out of the egg and has really had it, really happy and healthy ever since," said Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo director Jarrod Fortham.

Wardens said the people who owned the home took good care of the gator, but they also made it clear no one should keep an alligator as a pet.

The homeowner received two Class C citations -- one for possession of an alligator egg and one for possession of an alligator without appropriate permits.

In a post on Instagram, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said, "Alligators don't make good pets, y'all 🐊."

The warden who discovered the gator worked with wildlife rehabilitators at Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo to return the gator home.

The gator, who is a female, was named Tewa.

The zoo is about 50 miles from the home. In a video posted on the zoo's Facebook page, Tewa can be seen wading into the pond. Fortham posted an update on the zoo's website saying that she will get to know the other gators and live out the rest of her life there.

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