A Florida woman 'borrowed' an alligator from her old job and kept it in a hotel bathtub so she could take her birthday photos with it: officials

  • A 25-year-old woman in Florida kept a small alligator in her hotel bathtub for a birthday shoot.

  • She took the animal from her former employer, a wildlife park, without permission, officials said.

  • She took the gator using a park key, and drove to the hotel with her friends, per officials.

A woman in Florida took an alligator from her old workplace and brought it to her hotel room so she could take birthday pictures with it, officials said.

The juvenile alligator was found inside a bathtub in Orange County when a police officer arrived on the scene, according to a report filed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Madison Stephan, 25, now faces misdemeanor charges on allegations that she stole the alligator from her former place of employment for the birthday shoot, Palm Beach Post reported.

Stephan brought the alligator to the Grove Resort and Water Park in Winter Garden on September 4, and officers were later alerted to the animal, the Post reported.

She told an officer that she wanted to take pictures with the 2-foot alligator, and "borrowed" the animal from her former employer, the wildlife park Croc Encounters, The Miami Herald reported, citing an incident report obtained by local news agency McClatchy News.

Stephan told a friend that she had a "surprise" and snuck inside one of the park's buildings to nab the animal, per The Herald.

They then drove to the hotel and kept the alligator in the bathtub, preparing to stay for five days, the outlet reported.

A responding officer said the alligator was "cold to the touch" and that the water in the tub was also cold, according to The Herald.

When contacted by police, the owner of Croc Encounters said Stephan didn't have permission to take the alligator, but decided not to press charges, per the outlet. The animal was returned to Croc Encounters, according to The Herald.

Florida bans the unlawful sale, possession, or transportation of alligators or alligator skins.

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