Alligator Found In Car On Tulsa College Campus
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police made wild discovery at a Tulsa college campus Wednesday, when officers pulled an alligator from a student's car.
"It's in a cage that's not exactly secure. The latches on it are not good, so it's tied up for now," said Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Game Warden Carlos Gomez.
The student told police he brought the animal to class to use a prop for a research paper about alligators, but Tulsa Community College says it was not aware of the student's plan to bring an actual live gator into the classroom.
"I've been in student affairs in higher education administration for about 25 years, and this is the first time I've dealt with an alligator on campus," said Brett Campbell, of TCC.
Police officers were called to the school at 81st Street and Highway 169 after security guards found Shane Allen, 21, slumped over the steering wheel of a car.
Another student noticed the man when she went to class Wednesday morning. When she returned just before 1 p.m., he was still there and appeared to be passed out.
When officers got to the vehicle, they found the four-and-a-half-foot long gator, his mouth wrapped shut with rubber bands and a zip tie.
"He's plenty big enough to be a bad boy and hurt somebody," Gomez said.
Gomez came to pick up the animal, a call that he says is common for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.
"It's not as unusual as we'd like it to be," he said.
Gomez said it used to be legal to own alligators in Oklahoma, but the law was modified years ago. But anyone who had an alligator permit before that law passed is grand fathered in and can continue to legally possess the animal.
"It's kind of a loophole, where we constantly have alligators popping up and obviously they're not the same alligator, or they'd be getting six, eight, 10, 12 feet long, right?" Gomez said.
Allen posted a picture of the alligator to his Facebook page on Sunday with the caption, "Taking rocky for a drive, the chilliest gator."
But Gomez said Allen told him, he'd borrowed the alligator from a friend in Bristow.
Gomez said that person has two other alligators as well, but no licenses.
Shane Allen was arrested on a couple marijuana charges. He could also face a fine of up to $1,000 for having the gator illegally.
The Wildlife Department says the alligator is in a safe place, while game wardens look for a permanent home for it.