Beloved alligator stolen from Okla. petting zoo/wildlife rescue center

HOCHATOWN, Okla. (KXII) – Oklahoma game wardens are asking for your help locating an American alligator they say was stolen from a petting zoo and wildlife rescue center in Hochatown near Beavers Bend State Park over the weekend.

Wardens say someone took “Petrie” from an outdoor enclosure early Saturday morning.

“Petrie” has been a resident of the Hochatown Petting Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Center since being abandoned in a box at the center’s doorstep three years ago, wardens said. The three-foot gator was born with a lower jaw malformation and is easily recognizable.

Wardens said he has been constantly evaluated on his survival abilities. Recently, Petrie has shown the ability to catch fish and insects on his own. Due to this progress, he was being scheduled for release back into the wild.

Wardens say possessing an alligator is against the law in Oklahoma and are asking for the public’s help to help get Petrie back safely into the wild.

If you have any information of the whereabouts to Petrie, contact State Game Warden Mark Hannah at 580-513-4651 or Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039.