Man keeps gator in hot tub, feeds it chicken in Vero Beach

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Tony Wells Jr. said that an alligator found in his hot tub was there when he moved in.

Wells, 32, explained the toothy critter had been living there for a year.

He said he fed it chicken.

The revelation happened Oct. 15 as Indian River County Sheriff's investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in the 6300 block of Fourth Street in Vero Beach, according to recently released affidavits.

The search warrant was related to drugs, and investigators did arrest a 26-year-old woman after finding cocaine and marijuana, according to an Indian River County Sheriff's spokesman and records.

The alligator prompted a detective to contact a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official.

Wells "stated the alligator was there when he moved in and he was just feeding the alligator," an affidavit states.

Alligators typically are found in lakes and swamps as opposed to hot tubs.

wells_mug_side.jpgWells said the alligator had been there for a year and that he was feeding it chicken, which is what some people say alligator tastes like.

Wells, of the 6300 block of Fourth Street in Vero Beach, said he didn't have a permit for the gator and was jailed on a misdemeanor charge related to alligator possession.