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Monday June 24, 2024

Woman steals alligator in Florida to take pictures, keeps it in hotel bathtub

Report says woman’s friend told officials sje "had surprise for her" upon driving to Croc Encounters and snatching alligator

By Web Desk
September 27, 2023
A representational image of a young alligator. — AFP/File
A representational image of a young alligator. — AFP/File

A rare event took place in Florida where a woman reported to have stolen an alligator for taking pictures on her birthday to make it a memorable moment of her life and left it in a bathtub of a hotel where she was staying.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission maintained that the alligator was taken from a place where the woman Madison Stephan previously worked.

The event was reported in which it was stated that an FWC officer was dispatched to the Grove Resort and Water Park in Winter Garden after the Orange County Sheriff's Office requested assistance in dealing with a young alligator that Stephan was keeping inside the hotel bathroom.

The woman told the authorities that she was employed at Croc Encounters in Tampa and "borrowed" the alligator without permission to bring to the hotel to take pictures with it for her birthday.

According to the officials, she went to the wildlife facility before it opened and used the keys she still had to nab the alligator. She came back to the hotel and put it in the bathtub.

The woman’s friend told officials that Stephan "had a surprise for her" upon driving to Croc Encounters and snatching the alligator, the incident report noted.

The alligator was cold to the touch from being inside the cold water in the bathtub, the report quoted, citing FWC officials as saying.

Officials also talked to the owner of Croc Encounters, who confirmed that Stephan was an employee there, but not anymore.

The owner stated that she was not an authorised person to be on the property or take the alligator. Moreover, he declined to pursue charges of theft or trespassing. 

Stephan was issued a notice to appear in court for possession of the alligator.