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Florida Denies Permit For Lakeland Woman To Keep Her Gator Named Rambo

Photo by Crystal Chavez


Florida Fish and Wildlife said time has passed for a Lakeland woman to appeal the denial of her permit to keep and exhibit her pet alligator, Rambo.

The law requires Mary Thorn of Lakeland to have 2.5 acres of land. She doesn’t have that much land.

Thorn has had Rambo for 11 years. Her lawyer, Spencer Sheehan, said the land requirement wouldn’t serve a purpose for Rambo since he’s mostly indoors because of sensitivity to sun exposure.

“I see this as a case where an administrative agency one is applying an all-purpose rule for I guess a situation that may not warrant it and Mary has brought to my attention certain legal issues that may or may not have been presented to the FWC,” said Sheehan.

Sheehan also questions why Thorn wasn’t grandfathered in since the land requirement came into effect after she got Rambo.

FWC says it would be irresponsible to allow Thorn to keep her growing gator at her property without meeting the requirements.

The agency also said based on photos in the media and social media Thorn isn’t following proper safe handling guidelines for public contact with alligators.

FWC said it will work with Thorn to place the alligator in a licensed facility or “any other lawful solutions.”

Check here to read about Thorn and Rambo. 

Editor’s Note: This story was updated on March 31, 2016


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