Friday, March 11, 2011

Alligator Pot Protector Deemed Inadequate

Calif. pot growers use too small alligator to protect stash

Mar 09 2011

HEMET, Calif. — California narcotics investigators found a $1.5 million marijuana growing operation at a house and an unusual security guard _ a 4-foot-long alligator named Wally.

The Riverside County drug task force team moved in on the Hemet area house on Monday night and seized nearly 2,300 'pot' plants. The commander says agents also found the reptile, described as a "watchgator."

The healthy 55-pound American alligator was turned over to the Phelan-based Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, since it is illegal to own gators in California.

A 55 pound alligator is no match for an ordinary pit bull terrier and totally inadequate to protect the amount of pot involved. Wally is more of a pet gator than any real threat to anyone. Experts recommend an alligator at least 10-14 feet long and weighing more than 300 pounds if it is to truly serve as an effective "watchgator." (See photo inset of "Goliath," an adult gator with an attitude.)

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports 29-year-old John Nathan Donna, who lives in the home, was arrested and booked for investigation of marijuana cultivation and possession. He was released Tuesday on $100,000 bail.

When contacted at home, Donna was too stoned to speak coherently but did indicate he missed Wally, with whom he slept every night.

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