Watch CBSN Live

See You Later, Alligator

Doug Roehr fought with local officials for two weeks, but the city of Solana Beach is saying "happy tails" to the pet alligator he had for 36 years.

Roehr accepted a deal Wednesday to move his beloved pet out of state.

News About Animals

The 400-pound reptile, named Raphael, lived in Solana Beach north of San Diego for 25 years, but problems began earlier this month when he wandered away from home and frightened a neighbor.

The agreement stems from a meeting between Roehr and city, county and state officials. No one would discuss details.

"I can tell you that the new home will be a wonderful place," said Roehr's attorney, J. Stephen Deffner. "He'll be very well cared for and has a female companion waiting for him."

Roehr choked back tears, mumbling that he had been defeated.

The hubbub began when the gator got out of his backyard pen and showed up next door at the Dufour family's back door. Jim Dufour grabbed a phone and a shotgun, calling sheriff's deputies and taking aim.

Raphael was rescued by Roehr and led home. But two days later, county animal control officers took the animal away and placed him temporarily at the San Diego Zoo.

Soon, Raphael will be moved to his new home out of state, which Roehr said he was forced to accept.

"Whoever has the most money wins," Roehr said. "We're just working folks. We lose."

Fees, permits and the required enclosure to keep Raphael are estimated to easily total $10,000.

Roehr's neighbor, Dufour, said he was pleased with the decision not to let the alligator return home, adding, "I wouldn't allow it."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue