Oklahoma game wardens investigating after beloved American alligator taken from rescue center

HOCHATOWN, Okla. – Game wardens in southeast Oklahoma are investigating after a beloved American alligator was taken from a rescue center.

Officials say “Petrie” was taken from an outdoor enclosure at the Hochatown Petting Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Center on July 6.

At around 1:45 a.m., the operator of the center reported hearing two people talking outside the grounds.

But when she looked outside, she did not see anyone and assumed it was pedestrian traffic along the highway.

Petrie was discovered to be missing during a routine check of the grounds.


He had been living at the center after he was abandoned in a box at the center’s doorstep three years ago.

According to game wardens, he was born with a lower jaw malformation, is around 3 feet long and is “easily recognizable.” He was also being evaluated on his survival abilities and recently showed he was able to catch fish and insects.

Because of his progress, he was scheduled to be released back into the wild.

If you have any information, call Game Warden Mark Hannah at (580)513-4651 or Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039.

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