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'Katfish' adjusting to his new home

Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-08 19:46:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Katfish, the alligator Kansas City animal control confiscated Wednesday is having a hard time settling into his new home. 

The seven-foot, 200-pound gator has his own space at Dana Savorelli's "Monkey Island Rescue" in Greenwood, Missouri, home to other exotic animals.

"You know, he'll lunge at you and try to bite you if he gets half the chance, so we have to stay a bit clear of him and he’s nervous, he’s out of his environment completely," Savorelli said.

Savorelli found Katfish in a tub at a southeast Kansas City home 20 miles away after getting an emergency call from KCMO animal control Wednesday.

"Things happened real fast. It went down real quick and we had little information. I grabbed a couple of tools and left," Savorelli said.

Despite being in the landlocked Midwest, Savorelli told 41 Action News these cases are more common than you think.

"Four to half dozen at least a year I would guess," he said. "Some could be animal control, could be people that you know, can’t take care of something anymore, a situation similar to what we’ve seen yesterday."          

Savorelli is taking care of six small gators and two others that are as big as Katfish. 

But they all can't be friends. 

"If we had a big open area or something the hierarchy would work itself out to a point, but as far as throwing him in with another one that size, we’ve got two others that were raised together, and they’ll eat each other up so we have to keep them separated," Savorelli said.

By springtime, Savorelli hopes to build Katfish a new home, one that will have water and other natural elements.

Katfish is in excellent shape which helps him in the short term.

"He has plenty of fat on him. They don’t have to eat every day, so we’re not going to push that issue; we’re just kind of leaving him alone and let him settle down."