This is not a joke. This is a WILD fact.

You can legally own an alligator in the states of Maine and New Hampshire.

Yes, read that again. Backwards. And again forwards, because it is all true.

Owning an alligator is 100% legal with a permit in DelawareIdahoIndianaMaineMissouriNebraskaNew HampshireRhode IslandSouth DakotaTexas, and Vermont, according to a World Population Review article. In all other states, owning a pet alligator is illegal.

Listen, I understand people like animals of all kinds: snakes, lizards, birds...sure. But who the heck wants to own an alligator?

And don't these dinosaur creatures belong in Florida, or other warm weather places?

American alligator
Getty Images

How is this safe?

Well, to be fair, there are a lot of regulations put in place. For example, all owners must have a permit.

Other regulations, according to World Review, include:

their own enclosure, and owners will need one with both land and water. The enclosure should ideally be twice the length of the alligator, and the width should be equal to or greater than the length of the alligator.

The water component of the enclosure must have a space with depth where the alligator can submerge completely. This must be a caged enclosure, constructed with materials that this animal can not escape from. Concrete and chain link fences are common enclosure materials for alligators.

This is wild. Literally. But excluding zoos, I have never seen anyone in Maine or New Hampshire own an alligator. Have you?

Alligator in the water
Getty Images

One of my biggest concerns is other people getting in contact with these animals by mistake. However, there are even more regulations about keeping the animals and the general public (your neighbors) safe:

There are many other enclosure regulations for alligators that include access. Most enclosures are kept outside. Owners will need to ensure that the cage can not be accessed by people that do not have the authorization to do so.

How do we feel about this? Live free or die? Or let the alligators live free...somewhere Florida?

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