Alligators, box turtles seized

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011

FRANKLIN—Officials on Thursday seized two alligators and 20 box turtles from a home on Mount Horeb Road between Franklin and Newsoms.

No charges were filed against the unidentified two residents of the home, said Sgt. T.J. Worrell with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries in Charles City. Worrell serves District 14, which includes Southampton County.

“We’re still in the middle of an investigation,” he said. “We just picked them up a few hours ago.”

Acting on a tip, game officials went to the home, where they found the 18- to 20-inch-long juvenile alligators, he said.

“It’s against the law to import a species that’s not native to Virginia,” Worrell said.

Alligators are found in Florida, Louisiana and the southern parts of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Virginians also cannot get a permit to possess alligators.

“We don’t issue permits to people because people release them into the wild and we don’t want to introduce alligators into Virginia waters,” Worrell said.

Virginians can legally possess up to five box turtles. The turtles were seized because the residents were over the limit, he said.

Worrell did not want to say what, if any charges, the residents might face.

“I can’t give that detail until the first of the week,” he said.

There could also be charges filed out of state regarding the sale of the alligators, Worrell said.

The alligators and turtles are in “great condition.”

“We’re holding them at the Region 1 office in Charles City,” he said.