“Vroom, vroom,” Rambo the Christmas-loving, motorcycle riding gator probably said to himself upon hearing the news that his owner, Mary Thorn, had been issued a personal pet license, allowing her legally to keep the nearly six-foot-long reptile at her Lakeland, Florida home.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Thorn has owned Rambo since 2004, when she rescued him and eventually trained him to become a mostly domesticated pet. But the gator has since outgrown Thorn’s home according to Florida law, which requires alligators longer than four feet to have at least 2.5 acres of land available to them.
Thorn hired an attorney and pleaded her case with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who this week agreed to grant her an exemption if she abides by certain rules.
“He can’t go out and do public things anymore,” she told the Sentinel. “He can’t be one-on-one with people and his mouth has to be taped shut. He used to do pictures with kids and stuff like that, but no more.”
Rambo is well-known in his neighborhood for his colorful outfits, which include cool guy biker leather jackets and Santa costumes, both of which Thorn claims prevent sunburn. She would also drive places with the gator strapped securely to her motorcycle, another activity the state has banned—now she’ll have to transport him in the back of her car if she needs to take him anywhere.
Despite the new limitations, Thorn isn’t complaining.
“In order to keep him I’m not going to argue with them too much,” she said. “All in all it’s going to be a merry Christmas because Rambo is here.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 22, 2016