A California wildlife officer received a report about an alligator at a home in Hollister, California, a little over a year ago, according to San Benito Live.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife didn’t have enough information to support that report, though, so the officers were unable to get a search warrant, the news site reported.
But the department received “fresh” information regarding the alligator at the home on April 7 and was able to search the home, said Capt. Todd Tognazzini with Fish & Wildlife, according to San Benito Live.
With the help of the Hollister Police Department, wildlife officers and the Unified Narcotic Enforcement Team showed up and searched the home, according to a Facebook post from police.
During that search warrant, police did not just find a 5-foot-long alligator, the post says.
They also found a ferret and a “small indoor marijuana grow,” police wrote.
Police posted three photos of what they found. In one photo, a Hollister officer held the gator with its snout, eyes and head wrapped with black tape and a blue towel. The second photo shows a white-furred ferret in a cage, and the third photo shows potted marijuana growing in red plastic cups.
“The animals were seized to be taken to a properly permitted facility and plants taken as evidence,” police wrote. “The suspect was not home at the time of the search warrant!”
The owner later told officers that he caught the alligator “along the Sacramento River four or five years ago” and that he bought the ferret in Oregon, according to San Benito Live. He also said he thought it was a caiman — and not an alligator, the site reported.
It is illegal in California to own alligators and caimans, as well as ferrets, without a permit, according to the state’s Restricted Species Laws and Regulations Manual.
The man did not have permits, according to San Benito Live.