Frat Must Say 'See You Later' to Pet Alligator

February 25, 2009 | By Amy Lieberman | Category: Strange But True | 1257 comments
Tags: strange but true, other pets

After obtaining a baby alligator as their designated mascot, the frat brothers of Delta Upsilon, at Washington State University, have been forced to surrender their pet to authorities.(Photo Courtesy of Henry Moore, Jr. BCU/WSU)

He's not your average pet, but one alligator was recently recruited -- and selected -- to serve as a mascot for a fraternity at the Washington State University. Just as quickly as an online service delivered the baby gator, though, he was soon out the frat door, and into the care of the university's veterinary hospital.

PULLMAN, Wash. -- One fraternity's attempt to stand out against the rest has fallen flat, after police demanded they give up their 1-month-old alligator mascot.

Washington State University's chapter of Delta Upsilon recently purchased the foot-long alligator, named Grizz, from an online site, the school's newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, reported last week.

"We were sitting around one night and we saw something about it [the alligator] online," Delta Upsilon member Qunn Lambert, a sophomore, told The Daily Evergreen. "We wanted to get something that no one had."

The alligator was delivered overnight to the fraternity house, where he was reportedly placed into a tub filled with water, gravel and larger rocks.

The novelty of having an exotic mascot was short lived, though, after Cmdr. Chris Tennant of the Pullman Police Department stumbled across The Daily Evergreen's article, "Delta Upsilon purchases scaly reptilian roommate," which ran Feb. 18.

"I just thought, 'not again,' " said Tennant, referring to a similar incident last year, when another student purchased a pet alligator.

"We ended up having to take that animal into the city's possession and it was a costly thing for the taxpayers of the city. I didn't want to have to deal with that again and for this to become a nifty pet trend."

Tennant dispatched animal control officers to the fraternity house on Friday; the students were "fairly cooperative," he said, and will not be charged. Sale and possession of alligators, among other wild animals, is prohibited in the state of Washington.

"We saw this as an educational experience," Tennant said.

The alligator was taken to WSU's veterinary hospital, where he will remain until a spot at a reptile sanctuary opens up, public information Charlie Powell told Zootoo Pet News.

Griz is in good health, but was found to be hypothermic when he was first admitted to the clinic.

"We think he just wasn't being cared for properly," Powell said. "People don't realize that alligators are cold blooded animals, but they still need to be placed in a heated enviroment."

Zootoo reached Delta Upsilon member Thomas Lawrence, a freshman, on his cell phone, but he declined to "do any more interviews."

In The Daily Evergreen, however, Lawrence expressed a committment to raise Grizz.

"We want to keep him during our four years of college," he reportedly said.

Right now, Grizz is able to be handled, Powell says, and is actually "quite pretty." But a few years -- or months -- down the road will certainly diminish Grizz's viability as a household pet.

It isn't the first time WSU's veterinary hospital has had to clean up the mess careless student pet owners left behind. Powell says some young pet owners' irresponsibility can be "frustrating" to handle.

"We frequently get things like pet iguanas, other things that are abandoned by students at the end of the semester, and/or relinquished to us when the animals are failing to thrive, or are actually malnourished," Powell said.

"Iguanas are not made to live on lettuce alone while you and your friends watch them in bouts while you are drinking."

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The Daily Evergreen contributed to this article.

Comments (953)

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6 years ago

Were any of you there? Did you see the accomadtions that were set up for the pet? How dare you judge them as "Frat Boys"? Just because you are in a fraternity doesn't mean you're out of control. This why society fails, we judge too much on a name. Do you judge black people as thieves and jews as greedy? What about Indians and alcohol. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for labeling them as stupid frat boys, we all make poor judgement calls. Think next time before you poorly label people, they could be your sons or future vet techs....especially from Washington State University.

Good Point | Reply ›

Amanda C.

Amanda C.
6 years ago

Thank God the state of Washington has enough sense to have laws against this kind of thing, I wish all of the other states would follow! People need to stop trying to keep wild animals as pets, it only hurts the animals.

Good Point | Reply ›

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