7-foot alligator found in hot tub in KC home is ‘gentle as a puppy,’ owner says

Kansas City animal control workers on Wednesday removed a seven-foot alligator, two ball pythons and a rabbit from a house in the eastern portion of the city.

The owner of the house was in the process of evicting a tenant when he found the alligator in a hot tub.

Sean Casey, the tenant, said the alligator’s name was Catfish and that it was “gentle as a puppy.”

The property owner immediately called city officials, said John Baccala, a spokesman for the city’s Neighborhood and Housing Services department.

City crews arrived at the house in the 5500 block of Phelps Road just after 9 a.m. and began the wrangling process. They had to call a specialist from Greenwood to remove the 200-pound alligator from the house.

“While our animal health officers are very highly trained, that is a little out of their expertise,” Baccala said. “We were called in and were told what was inside and get it off of the property.”

Casey has owned Catfish for about four years and said “he was a big cuddly lizard. He smiled all of the time.”

Kansas City allows homeowners to have snakes and rabbits as pets. But not an alligator, Baccala said.

No injuries were reported during the removal process. It took four workers to remove the alligator from the home.

“We are using extreme caution as part of our alligator removal process,” Baccala said.

The snakes and the rabbit will be housed with the Kansas City Pet Project animal shelter.

The alligator will find a new home at the Monkey Island Rescue and Sanctuary in Greenwood for now.

In October, two much smaller alligators were found in Olathe and Basehor.

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