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Wednesday, September 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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An alligator was found at a Nampa home. It’s now back at an Idaho reptile sanctuary

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 6, 2020

By Jacob Scholl Idaho Statesman

You don’t see this every day.

Police in Nampa, Idaho, were a little confused after receiving a call at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday from someone saying an alligator was underneath a trailer. Officers were sent to a home on the 4400 block of Thomas Mill Drive in Nampa, along with members of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Sure enough, there was a 6-foot alligator on the property.

“That’s not a call we’ve ever received in Idaho,” said Detective Gary Marang, a spokesperson for the Nampa Police Department. The department posted photos of the escaped gator on Twitter the next day.

Police were told that the gator got out of a cage before it was found a few blocks away, according to Marang. He said the gator escaped from an animal sanctuary in the 3200 block of South Happy Valley Road, less than half a mile from where it was found.

The animal sanctuary described by police is the Idaho Reptile Zoo, a nonprofit that’s owned and operated by Tyler Messina.

Messina told the Statesman on Thursday morning the zoo is undergoing renovations, and the alligator was in a temporary cage. The gator is now back at the Idaho Reptile Zoo, said Messina, who has at least two alligators on the property.

“We’re just happy he’s home safe, and no one was hurt,” he said.

Messina said this is the first time an alligator has escaped in over 10 years of keeping them.

He started Reptile Adventures in 2010, according to previous Statesman reporting. Messina opened the Idaho Reptile Zoo last year, according to its website. The reptile sanctuary is closed for construction, and Messina said he hopes to reopen back up soon.

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