AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two people have been charged with unlawfully possessing an alligator.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received a call a few weeks back about an alligator in Amherst.

The man who called originally told them he had rescued the animal from a bad home and needed help finding it a new one, the DEC says.

“However, when questioned, the subject’s rescue tale fell apart and he admitted to buying the alligator to keep as a pet,” the DEC says. “Recognizing a 3.5-foot alligator is too dangerous and difficult to care for, the owner attempted to sell it without success.”

The man was charged, and once the original seller in Dunkirk was identified, they were charged as well, the DEC says.

The animal has since been turned over to a permitted handler. Additional charges in this matter are pending.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.