Just in time for Halloween come pictures of the now infamous Abingdon Alligator discovered almost by accident in the basement of a local home a week or so ago.
The story, as I heard it, goes something like this: the resident of an Abingdon home was missing for a few weeks and was apparently murdered (that’s a hell of a start for any story about alligators) and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office went to the house with Animal Control Officers to wrangle up a few of the deceased homeowner’s dogs.
It wasn’t until the crew was leaving the house that some neighborhood children asked if they knew about the alligator in the basement. Upon closer inspection, there was indeed an about a four-and-a-half foot long alligator in an aquarium set up in the basement. Animal Control Officers subdued the creature, wrapped its muzzle in duct tape and evidently snapped a few pictures before putting it in a cage and removing it from the scene.
Now for an aside. It is true I did once live in Abingdon and, yes, I did keep a crocodilian for a pet (see the cute critter enjoying his dinner on The Dagger masthead), but this latest gator caper in Abingdon had little to do with me.
In the interest of full disclosure, I purchased my toothy friend at a Reptile Expo held at the Havre de Grace Community Center (the old one near Meadowvale Elementary School). Unbeknownst to many, these monthly reptile shows have been held in Havre de Grace for years. While you can’t buy venomous animals at the show, visitors can find everything from tiny dart frogs to tarantulas to diamondback terrapins to scorpions to anacondas to half-wolf puppies (it’s true, I was there).
At any rate, The Dagger’s scaly mascot died peacefully basking on his log several years ago (long before he knew he would become the mascot of the most despised/loved/feared local weblog). He has not yet been replaced in my heart or my terrarium.
concerned for concer says
What was the mascot's name?
Great question. Well, I called him Ogopogo (named of course after the Canadian version of the Loch Ness Monster which reportedly resides in Lake Okanagan), but most people simply referred to him as "The Caiman."
That might sound like a strange name, but only because I failed to point out in my story that my pet was not an American Alligator (like the one found in Abingdon), but was rather a Spectacled Caiman (which is indigenous to Central America).
I should also mention it is, or at least was a few years ago, legal to purchase a caiman (the smallest of the world's crocodilians) as a pet, but remains tricky legally and literally in Maryland to buy and own an alligator.