Meet Albert the Alligator – The Weird Side of the Internet

Written by on March 18, 2024

Meet Albert the Alligator – The Weird Side of the Internet – by Liam Sweeny.

An alligator. A big, mean alligator in residence in an upstate New York swimming pool. A tactical unit. If you put these together, boil them down into a roux, and go easy on the pour, you’d have a pretty okay movie, I guess. But this is real.

You hear stories all the time about monstrous alligators people keep as pets. Usually in the south or in the west, but this little exotic zoo was talking place in good ole’ Eerie County, New York, the sleepy town of Hamburg (I have no idea how sleepy it is, what on the pillows measure it winds up on, three? Four?) under the care and custodianship of Tony Cavallero. And of course, his alligator, Albert.

A thing you should know about Albert. He’s 11 foot, and 750 pounds. He’s mostly blind and has spinal issues. And maybe more telling for our story, he is well loved among the neighbors who sidle up to him in the pool, unprotected.

And that’s where the “rescue” of Albert really began. See, Tony Cavallero had a permit for him. In fact, he’d owned Albert for 30 years. Recently, he didn’t renew his permit. The DEC said that Cavallero, being a zookeeper and letting people pet Albert without any protection (like tape over his mouth) creates a health and safety risk. On his end, Cavallero said that he tried to have answers questioned, but the DEC wouldn’t answer his calls.

Cavallero stated that when he came home from doing errands and found the state and local officials at his door, he felt like “a terrorist.” I have to dip in here and say that I am a fan of freedom, but I think the DEC was right to do this. You don’t let alligators near regular folk with no protection. He’s just waiting for a lawsuit; the DEC just maybe saved him a few thousand dollars for when Albert realizes he’s a wild animal again and lays out a hearty chomp. Hell, even a 750 pound nibble can take an arm.



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