Alligator's Road Trip Bathroom Break Leads to "Suspicious Activity" Call

When nature called for a wildlife education program's alligator, a report of "suspicious activity" led to a traffic stop in the desert north of Los Angeles.

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Friday, Jun 7, 2013  |  Updated 7:47 AM PDT
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When a woman called 911 to report she saw a 4-foot-long alligator, the dispatcher asked if she meant to say lizard. The alligator, part of a wildlife education program, soiled its cage, forcing its handlers to pull over to clean it up. This video aired on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 6, 2013.

When a woman called 911 to report she saw a 4-foot-long alligator, the dispatcher asked if she meant to say lizard. The alligator, part of a wildlife education program, soiled its cage, forcing its handlers to pull over to clean it up. This video aired on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 6, 2013.

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A report of "suspicious activity" on a desert road in Southern California turned out to be a road trip bathroom break involving a 4-foot-long alligator that is part of a wildlife-on-wheels traveling education program.

The caller's report led to one exotic animal surprise after another in Lancaster, about 65 miles north of Los Angeles, when two women who are part of the Paso Robles, Calif.-based "Zoo to You" program introduced responding deputies to their passengers -- the alligator was traveling with the program's kangaroo.

Deputies responded after the caller reported two women standing near a van parked on the side of the desert road. One of the women was holding a 4-foot-long alligator that the caller feared the women planned to abandon in the desert.

After the women returned the alligator to the van, the caller followed the women until deputies arrived. The women explained that the animals had just been part of a presentation at nearby Quartz Hill Elementary School.

"It seems the alligator forgot to use the restroom before leaving the school and soiled its cage," according to a sheriff's department statement. "This caused the ladies to stop the van and remove the alligator in order to clean its cage."

Deputies said later gator, but not before taking a photo of the alligator basking in the sun on the hood of sheriff's department vehicle.

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