Arizona

Jan 3, 2013 5:25 PM by Sarah Arevalo

400 lb. Phoenix alligator moving to Florida

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - At 400 pounds and about nine feet long, an American Alligator named Spike has outgrown his home in the desert at Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS), and will be moved to a new preserve in Florida.

Before heading to Texas, PHS staff will have to get the huge reptile into a crate specially built for him on January 10. Russ Johnson, President of PHS and Dan Marchand, Curator, will then drive him to Florida due to Spike's weight.

Johnson and Marchand are experienced in handling and crating alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles, but none as big as Spike. He is among the largest of the sanctuary's nearly 1500 animals.

"Spike has been a member of the PHS family and we are going to miss him, but he has outgrown his enclosure here," says Johnson. "He has two large females waiting for him, and will have plenty of room in a natural habitat in Florida. Saving reptiles is a major part of our mission and we are very happy for Spike."

Spike was rescued in 2005 after a trailer of 32 illegally kept reptiles was pulled over near Casa Grande and seized by law enforcement. PHS gave homes to all of the animals, including Spike, and Tuesday, an alligator that became a local celebrity and education ambassador for the sanctuary

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