Funny, I went to the LA Zoo the last time I visited my aunt who lives near Griffith Park. 13 years ago?Our conservation officer called me one day wanting help. He had a tip that a guy was keeping an alligator in his house. Since it was winter we wondered if it was true. Sure enough the guy had the critter in his basement and all the papers to keep it. He said in the summer he let it go in the small pond he had by his house.
In college my roommate had a freeze dried rattlesnake posed striking. We liked to put it next to where people would take their boots off when they came inside.My snake attack story. When Mom got terminal brain cancer I moved back to Montana to help my brother care for her. Then a permanent USNPS ranger position came up five hours away and I took the job. Working twelve hour days, I could drive back and be with them three days a week. After Mom died my wife and kids flew out for the funeral and then stayed with me for several days where I was working. Before they left for home I took them for a scenic drive down to the Missouri Breaks and across one of the ferries (manned by a very colorful one-armed woman). None of them had seen a rattler so I drove down a stretch of road that was notorious for snake roadkills. You have to find them quickly before the birds clean them up. We weren't having any luck until I spotted one dead in an intersection. I rolled up beside it and opened my door. Darn, it was only a piece of black poly baling twine. Hmmm. "Here, I'll show you what they look like." I reached down and picked up the twine. Then, "Nyeah!! Damn thing is still alive!" as I flung it in the car. Screams. Then my late sweet little (4'10") wife who never cursed anyone or anything: "Gawdam you. That wasn't funny!" Oh really? Seems the kids in the back seat disagree. My daughter still laughs about it.