Pittsburgh reptile rescue owner agrees with new city ban, but worries animals will be killed, just let go

PITTSBURGH — Two years ago, it was the summer of the alligator. Within a span of months, half a dozen alligators were found in various parts of Pittsburgh in 2019. On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously adopted banning the ownership of alligators, crocodiles and red-eared sliders.

According to Channel 11′s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the ban was delayed a year because of issues with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, which would have been in violation of the law.

Those who own the animals for six months before the ordinance is enacted are exempt from the ban. They must have $1 million in insurance coverage, among other requirements. Those who violate the law could face a $1,000 fine.

“Alligators and crocodiles do not make the best pets,” said the owner of Nate’s Reptile Rescue, Nathan Lysaght. “I absolutely agree with it. Reality is they do get too big, extremely large and they certainly need a whole lot once they get to be big. So they get to be expensive real fast, not including the caging and lighting.”

Lysaght said he’s concerned that because of the ban, pet owners will not just release them into the wild or kill their reptiles.