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AP
The 3-foot-long alligator was seized from a Wading River, N.Y., liquor store. Two employees of the store were issued tickets for possession of an illegal animal.
updated 10/4/2010 10:27:15 AM ET 2010-10-04T14:27:15

A 3-foot pet alligator that was mistaken for a lizard has been seized from a liquor store on Long Island.

The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says the 3-foot-long, illegally kept alligator was removed Wednesday from Alpine Wines and Liquors in Wading River.

Authorities say two employees of the store were issued tickets for possession of an illegal animal. The American alligator will be sent to a sanctuary out of state.

The store's proprietor told Newsday, a Long Island newspaper, that an employee had asked her to take care of it while he was apartment hunting and that she believed the animal was a monitor lizard, not an alligator.

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