By Nick Nunn staff writer
An alligator missing after a November 2013 Maxey Lane fire has been found, with its toe nails partially painted, its owner David Burke said.
According to Madison Animal Control Officer Cindy Weimann, the 3.5 foot alligator was located near water off Foster Street last Friday. Weimann said a homeowner contacted Morgan County Dispatch regarding the alligator and Weimann called the animal’s registered owner David Burke.
Burke was the Maxey Lane resident who lost approximately 25 snakes when a shed on his property that housed his reptile collection caught fire.
Madison Police officers were called to the scene of the fire after Burke reported that the alligator, an eight–foot Burmese Python and a six–foot Spider ball Python were all missing as well as the containers holding the reptiles.
Weimann said the discovery of the alligator was perplexing to investigators given the recent cold weather in the region and the reptiles inability to survive cold conditions.
“We’ve contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and they feel it is unlikely that the alligator and snakes could have survived the January cold snap out of doors.”
“We’re glad we recovered the alligator.”
Weimann said Burke captured the alligator and returned it to his Maxey Lane residence. Burke is a noted reptile authority who has used his collection in education efforts.
His facility is inspected annually by the department of natural resources.