Alligator taken from Texas zoo is returned after 20 years

Tewa, a female alligator stolen from a zoo when she was a baby, has been returned 20 years after the kidnapping.

>> Read more trending news

The gator was taken from the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels, Texas, when she was a hatchling or possibly even an egg, according to The Washington Post, and was found about 50 miles from the zoo.

According to the Post, the woman who took Tewa was a volunteer at the zoo at the time. She had kept the 8-foot gator in her backyard for the past two decades.

As the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department pointed out in an Instagram post on Friday, alligators don’t make good pets. The woman who had the gator had tried to get a permit to keep the animal.

It is against the law in Texas for people to take, sell, purchase or possess an alligator without a permit, according to the Wildlife Department.

The person who had Tewa was given two citations, each of which carries up to a $500 fine.

A video posted on Facebook from the zoo said the wildlife department called “about an alligator that someone apparently has had in their possession for over 20 years now.”

Zoo officials eventually realized it was a gator taken years earlier.

Another video shared on Facebook showed Tewa’s return to the facility, where officials there say she is settling into the new habitat.

Alligators in the wild have a lifespan of between 30 and 50 years.