Alligator removed from southwest Detroit home

There was an unusual animal sighting in southwest Detroit Friday when officers got a complaint about an alligator in a backyard.

Animal control arrived Friday afternoon and removed the alligator.

Spike the alligator slipped in and out of his personal pond, always behind a fence in Tommy Allen's backyard.

"We've had the gator for five years now," Allen said. "We got home when he was a little bitty gator and we raised him. He's like a pet."

FOX 2: "And when he was hungry what was on the menu - surf or turf?"

"He ate rats every three days," Allen said. "We would go to the pet store and get him a couple rats."

He stayed in the house in the winter and stayed in the backyard in the summer. Tommy Allen & family watched and cared for the gator in their home on Ethel near Melvindale and I-75.

Spike the gator became popular in the neighborhood and began drawing curious visitors.

"He was never a danger to other kids in the neighborhood," Allen said. "In fact the kids liked to come back here and watch him. A lot of kids had never seen a live alligator.

Jackie Allen who also lived in the house said she like the gator, but "was afraid of him."

Detroit Police told Tommy Allen that while alligators are legal to own in Michigan, a city ordinance in Detroit prohibits them.

So Spike went for a ride, he's spending the weekend at Detroit Animal Control where they'll feed and care for him for now.

"I was informed by the Humane Society that they were going to take him to the Detroit Zoo," Allen said. "And they will put him in one of the reptile exhibits.

"We'll go to visit him."

The decision on whether the alligator will go to the zoo will be decided on Monday.

The Allens will not be ticketed by the city for owning the alligator.