We feel like somewhere back in those murky days of our childhood there was a Disney movie about a woman fighting to keep her lovable pet alligator. Tom Hanks or Danny Glover might have co-starred. Ring any bells? Maybe we’ve just been doing too much bath salt to remember right. Anyway, if there wasn’t a 90s-slockfest about a well-intended woman and her favorite reptile, we’ve got a real life scenario just begging on its hands and knees for a big screen adaptation.
Civil liberties! Endangered species! Threats to public safety! Man versus nature! All this and more is tied in to plight of Charlotte Easton, the 55-year-old Rock Creek, Ohio woman affectionately known in them parts as the Lizard Lady. According to the Ashtabula Star Beacon, she’s a vet technician who takes in unwanted animals, especially reptiles. Her latest case? A three to four foot alligator. The plan was to hang onto the critter temporarily while trying to find a suitable sanctuary. But Easton only had the animal for a couple hours before police were knocking on the door.
According to the paper, when authorities got to the scene, the gator was outside the apartment complex Easton lived in. Kids were close by, and although the gator’s mouth was taped shut, people were nervous enough to call police. The gator was seized.
There seems to be some swampy legal terrain over the possession of an alligator. Easton claimed to have an exotic animal permit from the Federal government. However, the village of Rock Creek has an anti-exotic animal ordinance. But tossing the law books aside, Easton is unhappy.