New Orleans man charged for owning piranha and alligator

New Orleans, La. - A 22-year-old New Orleans man is facing fines and possible jail time after agents discovered piranha and an alligator at his apartment.

Agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division paid a visit to the home of Quinn Vanderbosch after receiving a complaint from a neighbor.  The person who contacted Wildlife agents complains that Quinn left the live alligator unattended inside the apartment while he left for vacation.

Agents went to the apartment on Tuesday and were met by a roommate who allowed access. Once inside, they located the gator in a large plastic bin and a large fish tank with piranha swimming.

Agents returned to the residence with a search warrant to seize the illegal fish and alligator, as well as various drug paraphernalia left out in the open.

Agents cited Vanderbosch for possession of a live alligator without a permit, possession of a prohibited species (piranha) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Due to the similarities with Louisiana waters and the piranha's natural habitat, as well as the fish's invasive nature, the fish are strictly forbidden to be possessed or sold within the state with the only exceptions being the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas with an LDWF permit.

Possession of an alligator carries $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Possession of piranha brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia is determined by the presiding judge.