A Stouffville man who cared for two alligators before the OSPCA seized them told CityNews the reptiles were surrendered to him about a month ago by the original owners who couldn’t handle them anymore.

“I rescued them about a month ago. They were living in a condo apartment building in a shower,” said the man who requested anonymity.

Earlier this week, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) removed the alligators from his home in York Region after neighbours complained about the reptiles, which are about a metre-and-a-half long.

The animals were transferred to Hamilton and will eventually be housed at a reptile zoo in Ottawa before possibly being shipped to Europe.

The rescuer said the animals were in rough shape when he got them.

“They were neglected. They were pretty big and they needed facilities,” he said.

He said the American alligators responded to his care. At one point he was hand-feeding them.

The man spent a few thousand dollars for the shed and equipment to keep them warm and at the right humidity.

“There’s just too many people that buy pets as a cool pet not for actually what they are and then before you know it they end up on the streets, in ponds. They end up dead.”

The man said he did contact the OSPCA once he realized there was a ban on exotic pets in Stouffville and arranged to have them moved to a proper facility.

Officials say he won’t be fined or charged.