While media and fans may love Darnell Dockett and his new pet alligator “Nino,” PETA does not feel the same.
The pro-animal organization sent Dockett a letter acknowledging that he had purchased the alligator and telling him to get rid of it.
Dear Mr. Dockett,
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was alerted this week to media reports indicating that you recently purchased a baby American alligator from the Florida Everglades and that you intend to keep him as a captive pet. Please know that Florida heavily regulates the keeping of alligators and that it’s unlawful to keep an alligator as a pet anywhere in the state of Arizona without a special permit. These prohibitive laws and regulations exist because, in addition to posing a threat to public safety, wild animals suffer greatly in captivity.
Alligators in the wild roam freely with members of their own kind, travel long distances, and thrive in the rivers and lakes that they call home. When confined, wild animals will exhibit neurotic and self-destructive behaviors because of extreme boredom, stress, and frustration at being unable to engage in natural behaviors. Keeping an alligator as a pet is simply unfair to the animal. It also poses grave dangers to you and others. By their very nature, these animals are unpredictable and can inflict serious harm. Reptiles are also common carriers of salmonella. You would be held liable for any damage, injuries, or illnesses caused by the alligator.
Respectfully, we ask that you carefully consider this information. Please know that we stand ready to help find a suitable habitat for this animal. May we please hear that you will do the right thing?
While Dockett’s tweets are amusing to everyone, PETA is probably right this time. Alligators are wild animals and should not be pets.
However, if Dockett does elect to get rid of the alligator, which he has said he won’t, it would be nice if he waited until the end of the NFL lockout because he is one of the few entertaining things in the league right now.