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Travelling menagerie causes a stir

Police find more than they bargain for in L.A. traffic stop

LANCASTER, Calif. – When the Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy got a call about a live alligator at the roadside, he was suspicious.

The caller said two women were spotted near a Lancaster, Calif., intersection, holding the alligator, and was afraid they were planning to abandon it in the desert.

“I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, an alligator. Okay,’ ” Deputy Michael Rust told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday.

But he made his way to the location anyway.

Meanwhile, the women packed the gator back into the van and drove off. The caller trailed them for several kilometres until the police caught up and stopped the van.

The women quickly confessed they had an alligator in the van. And a kangaroo. Oh, and a monkey.

They explained that they were part of the”Zoo to You” program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals.

The animals had just visited with students at Quartz Hill Elementary and had begun the nearly 300-kilometre journey back to their San Luis Obispo County when they pulled over for some emergency cleanup.

“The alligator urinated inside his cage,” Rust said. “It’s a long ways back to Paso Robles with the smell of alligator urine in a van.”

  • Travelling menagerie causes a stir This image provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows an alligator Thursday June 6, 2013 in Lancaster, Calif. Part of the "Zoo to You" program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals, the alligator was being held by two females near a van after the animal urinated inside the van and the females had stopped to clean the the van. (AP Photo/ Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

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