PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police and animal welfare workers removed several exotic animals from a local man’s home Tuesday afternoon.
That man owns the alligator that someone found wandering around in Beechview on June 6.
Pittsburgh Police and animal care and control officers removed more than a half a dozen exotic animals from the Beechview home of Mark McGowan who owns the five-foot-long alligator named Chomp that escaped from his house last week.
“In total 32 animals have been removed from the house,” said Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Public Information Officer Chris Togneri. “Three alligators, one had a bloody neck wound, one Burmese python, two iguanas, one rattlesnake, one mild lizard, two small iguanas and four hairless rats.”
That is only a few of the animals removed. After a search warrant was issued and officials went inside the house, they found the animals were living in poor conditions.
The lead reptile keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo also examined the animals.
Police officials say that there were several dead animals inside the residence as well.
“There were multiple dead animals and reptiles in the house,” said Togneri. “Some in crates, some in containers, some in the freezer.”
Neighbors were sitting on their front porches Tuesday afternoon watching as the reptiles were removed. Neighbors say they were aware that the animals were inside the house, but not to this extent.
“I don’t think the animals should be where other people life side-by-side,” said neighbor Kit Lewis.
In the meantime, McGowan signed a release form but he is angry at the situation. The owner of the animals says he is being harassed and will fight to get the animals back.
“This is terrible,” said McGowan. “I’m being attacked. I am being harassed.”
As for the other two alligators captured in the Pittsburgh area, McGowan says he does not know anything about them. The alligators were taken to Cape May Zoo in New Jersey where they will be kept until making a trip to Florida.