SPCA: Alligator was kept in heated backyard shed in Ronkonkoma

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RONKONKOMA -

Authorities seized a 4-foot alligator from a home in Ronkonkoma, where officials say it was being kept in a heated backyard shed.

Suffolk police found the gator on Friday when they went to the Ocean Avenue home on an unrelated matter.

The Suffolk SPCA and state DEC say they confiscated the animal, and 25-year-old Roger Levya was slapped with a violation that could lead to a fine or jail time.

Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross says alligators do not make good pets. "This could certainly cause severe injuries," Gross says. "He's very, very aggressive."

They also start out small but quickly grow up -- the gator could reach up to 12 feet in length.

A man who answered the door at the home said he was the homeowner, but would not give his name, and claimed he didn't know much about the alligator or to whom it belonged.

Neighbor June Titus-Wolters says she's glad to hear the creature is gone. "I watch my grandchild, he's 2 1/2 years old, and I have dogs out here," she says.

Chief Gross says the gator is being sent to a licensed facility in Massachusetts.

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