Alligator takes pit stop near Calif. intersection
Published - Jun 06 2013 11:23PM CST
This image provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows an alligator Thursday June 6, 2013 in Lancaster, Calif. Part of the "Zoo to You" program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals, the alligator was being held by two females near a van after the animal urinated inside the van and the females had stopped to clean the the van. (AP Photo/ Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)
LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was suspicious. When he heard two women were spotted near a Lancaster, Calif., intersection, and one of them was holding an alligator, he didn't buy it.
"I'm thinking, 'Yeah, an alligator. OK,'" Deputy Michael Rust told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday (http://lat.ms/13IVx4U ). "Maybe an iguana, but an alligator?"
A 911 operator agreed. "Could it have been a lizard?" the operator tells a woman reporting "a couple girls carrying an alligator" on a recording released by the Sheriff's Department.
Rust investigated the report Tuesday morning and found not just a 4-foot alligator, but a kangaroo and a monkey too, all inside the same van.
The women explained that the menagerie is part of the "Zoo to You" program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals.
The animals had just visited with students at Quartz Hill Elementary and had begun the nearly 200-mile journey home when they pulled over for some emergency cleanup.
"The alligator urinated inside his cage, and it's a long ways back to Paso Robles with the smell of alligator urine," Rust said. "So they decided to pull over."