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Friday, May 6, 2011 —Cook County Sheriff’s Police have removed a four-foot alligator from the home of a Ford Heights man who kept the reptile as a pet.

Dewayne YarbroughDewayne Yarbrough, 43, of the 800 block of East 11th Place has been charged with possession of a dangerous animal.

Investigators with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office Animal Crimes Unit received information that Yarbrough was keeping an American alligator in confined conditions at his south suburban home.  After obtaining a search warrant on Thursday, officers went to the residence, and located the alligator in a fish tank in the kitchen.  Yarbrough told police he purchased the alligator five years ago in Indiana for $200.  He stated that he kept the alligator as a pet because it attracted women.  In order to keep the size of the alligator down, Yarbrough kept it in a small tank, and only fed it once a month – a meal of ten live mice.  American alligators traditionally average between eight and fourteen feet in length.

Police, with the assistance of Cook County Animal Control, were able to secure the gator and safely transport it to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.  It will be turned over later to the Chicago Herpilogical Society.

Yarbrough’s next court date is July 5th in Markham.

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