Florida woman fights to keep pet alligator at home

Rambo has stayed in home for 11 years

By Associated Press, Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

Rambo wears clothes and has a bedroom in Mary Thorn's Lakeland home. (Facebook / Mary Thorn)

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida woman is fighting to keep her 6-foot-long pet alligator in her home.

The 125-pound reptile named Rambo wears clothes, rides on the back of a motorcycle and has a bedroom in Mary Thorn's home in Lakeland.

Thorn has had a license for the alligator for 11 years, but the gator recently grew to 6 feet. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said an alligator of that size must have 2.5 acres of land.

But Thorn claims that, even if she had land available, Rambo can't be left outdoors because of sensitivity to sunlight.

Thorn has been active on social media in her efforts to save Rambo.


This is really important to me. Rambo isn't just another gator he's part of my family.hes human more than he is... Posted by Mary Thorn on Monday, March 14, 2016

"This is really important to me," she said in a recent Facebook post. "Rambo isn't just another gator; he's part of my family.

Thorn said Rambo is "human more than he is gator." She said he's been raised inside a house all his life and is scared of the outside.

"People think I'm crazy, but there were four when I started out," she said.

Thorn, who takes Rambo to schools and charity events to teach people about reptiles, said the other gators died. She said Rambo will die if he is exposed to the sun.

"Rambo is the last one," she said.

Thorn said she has trained Rambo not to bite.

FWC spokesman Gary Morse said Thorn's case is under investigation.

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