11. Never take an alligator from the wild or accept one as a pet.

The taking of alligators from the wild, in any of the animal’s range states, is illegal and may be punishable by a fine and a prison sentence. Besides the illegality and the danger involved in taking them, alligators (and all crocodilians) make the worst pets. They are far too dangerous, troublesome and expensive to care for. Don’t fall for a sales pitch from a pet shop merchant who tells you that they don’t grow large if you keep them in a small enclosure, and that you can keep the animal tame.Baby alligators on pad.

If you happen to live in a state outside of the alligator’s range, and you know of a “pet” alligator, caiman or crocodile that needs a home at a qualified facility, please visit here.

Did You Know? Alligators discovered in the wild in the colder northern U.S. states are actually released or escaped “pets.” If not rescued, they die when temperatures drop in the frigid season.