The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

July 22, 2013

Gator searchers find no reptile

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

SHAMOKIN — Rumors that renters of a South Seventh Street house had left a live alligator behind when they moved proved false, said city code officer Rick Bozza, who investigated Monday afternoon.

Bozza had been getting phone calls about an alligator in the house from people who were nervous about the possibility of it getting loose.

“I know some people in the area were sure there was an alligator inside, but I can tell everyone there wasn’t,” Bozza said.

Bozza and police officers went into the house, which was unlocked.

“The house was empty, the door was open,” Bozza said. “We looked everywhere inside but we found no gator.”

Bozza called the owner of the house, Judy Griffiths, who is in Virginia. He learned that the previous tenants, who vacated the house, did own an alligator. When they moved to Mount Carmel they apparently took their alligator with them.

Bozza did not know how the rumor got started, “but I can say for sure that there is not an alligator slithering around in Shamokin.”

If they had found an alligator inside, Bozza joked, “I’m not sure I would’ve known what to do. I’ve never been in that kind of situation.”