A Western Massachusetts man made the catch of a lifetime yesterday in a Springfield area river.

Agawam resident Jeremy White, who officials say is an avid angler, rescued an alligator from the Westfield River on Tuesday, Dec, 7.

According to a post on social media from Massachusetts Wildlife, officials believe that this alligator was illegally kept as a pet and the gator was intentionally release or could have possible escaped.

According to reports, there have been many unsuccessful attempts over the last several months to find and capture this particular alligator. Had the gator not been nabbed before the depth of winter, he would not have survived.



We are grateful for Jeremy’s efforts, as this 4-foot cold-blooded reptile would not have survived the cold Massachusetts winter. Our staff will be transporting the alligator today to a licensed reptile rescue organization that provides conservation education programs.

Massachusetts Wildlife



Officials from Mass Wildlife said this is a reminder to residents that there are strict laws in place for keeping wildlife as pets in Massachusetts. They went on to say that these laws are in place to helps protect both people and animals from harm.

According to mass.gov, the only animals you can take out of the wild in Massachusetts are certain reptiles and amphibians, and no, they certainly don't include alligators. You can keep these animals as personal pets, but the state law prevents you from selling, bartering, or exchange them. You can have up to two of each of the following animals:

  • American Bullfrog
  • American Toad
  • DeKay's Brown Snake
  • Eastern Garter Snake
  • Eastern Newt
  • Eastern Racer
  • Eastern Red-backed Salamander
  • Eastern Ribbonsnake
  • Fowler's Toad
  • Gray Treefrog
  • Green Frog
  • Milksnake
  • Mudpuppy
  • Northern Dusky Salamander
  • Northern Two-lined Salamander
  • Northern Watersnake
  • Painted Turtle
  • Pickerel Frog
  • Red-bellied Snake
  • Smooth Greensnake
  • Snapping Turtle
  • Spring Peeper
  • Wood Frog

Check out the photos below that Mass Wildlife shared from the rescue.




LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.



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