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An alligator reportedly rescued from a New Mexico home during a criminal investigation has been transferred to an Albuquerque zoo.
The three-foot-long alligator, whose name and gender have not been revealed, was captured by the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish before being turned over to the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo, according to a report by KOB4 – a local news outlet.
A spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish told Fox News Digital that details about the alligator’s capture could not be revealed as an investigation is still ongoing.
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Most counties and city ordinances do not allow private ownership of wild or exotic animals, according to an annotation written on the application for an import permit for non-wild exotic animals or wildlife that are “kept as pets.”
The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish filing advises aspiring exotic pet owners to contact their local Animal Control or Regulatory Division for advice.
“It is illegal to import a live domestic animal into New Mexico without first obtaining the appropriate permit(s) issued by the Director, with the exception of those identified on the Species Import List of group I,” says New Mexico Administrative Code, Title 19, Chapter 35, Part 7 (220.127.116.11), outlining the import laws of live ungulates.
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“The state game commission must review any license application for the importation of a carnivore that is kept, possessed, or released on private property for the purpose of recovery, reintroduction, conditioning, settlement or recovery into New Mexico,” the state code continues. “The Director shall only issue a Departmental Permit in accordance with the instructions of the Commission upon review of an application filed under this Section of the Rule.”
Permits are issued to individuals who meet all application requirements and regulations, the code says.
People who do not comply with or violate the licensing regulations may not be eligible to import their ungoverned animal.
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“The pending or determination of an administrative act or the pending or determination of a criminal prosecution for the same is not an obstacle to the other,” the code concludes.
Fox News Digital has reached out to representatives of ABQ BioPark Zoo for comment.
Zoo officials told KOB4 that the rescued alligator appears to be three or four years old. The animal is currently in quarantine and will likely remain so for at least 30 days.
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ABQ BioPark Zoo is a 65-acre property in Rio Grande, Albuquerque.
The zoo first opened in 1927 and now reportedly houses over 900 animals from around the world.
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The ABQ BioPark Zoo’s website says it offers “close encounters with exotic and native animals.”