Rescued reptiles find new home at Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach

dbryant@thesunnews.comSeptember 29, 2013 

Another round of rescued reptiles is settling in to their new home at Alligator Adventure in North Myrtle Beach.

Five Central American snakes, two American alligators, one crocodile, a Gila monster and an alligator snapping turtle were transported to the local attraction this month from Kenosha, Wis. Authorities removed the reptiles from a house there in May, and they have been recuperating at the Racine Zoo in Wisconsin, according to a report in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Alligator Adventure was the agreed-upon location between the court and the previous owner, Gianna O’Keefe, spokeswoman for the Racine Zoo, told the newspaper.

Kenosha police Lt. Brad Kemen told the newspaper that the owner received a municipal ticket for possession of a dangerous animal within city limits, but the owner didn’t explain why he had all the reptiles.

Alligator Adventure, which has operated at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach for 19 years, is frequently asked to care for reptiles -- especially alligators and crocodiles -- that don’t have anywhere else to go. Many have been rescued by authorities, such as the ones in Wisconsin.

“From North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware -- you name it,” said Ken Alfieri, the attraction’s zoological director.

The attraction has 14 acres, so there’s plenty of room, he said.

“We can house ‘em. That’s not a problem,” Alfieri said. “A lot of them become part of Alligator Adventure.”

Some of those rescued reptiles are from owners who had good intentions when they bought a small reptile, but then it grows up and they rethink it, Alfieri said.

“And there’s no one out there to take it,” he said.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at dbryant@thesunnews.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.

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