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Wildlife Officials Allow Central Florida Woman To Keep Pet Gator Rambo

Crystal Chavez
Mary Thorn and her pet Rambo

A Lakeland woman says Christmas came early for her when she got a state permit to keep her pet Rambo – a motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing alligator she’s had for more than a decade.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said Mary Thorn’s property wasn’t big enough to keep a six foot long gator. But she argued Rambo has an immune disorder that makes him sun-sensitive, so he’s an “indoor gator” anyway.

After nearly a year of legal wrangling, though, Thorn says it was time to cover Rambo with his usual sunscreen and clothing step out.

“We were out in the yard celebrating yesterday,” said Thorn, “and he’s just ecstatic.”

The permit does have restrictions, though – Thorn cannot exhibit Rambo anymore or take him in public without tape around his mouth.

“On this permit, the only thing we’re not allowed to do is exhibit him, and we’re not allowed to go anywhere without the tape being around his mouth,” said Thorn.

She says Rambo is so docile, he thinks the tape is a punishment.