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Three Rare Alligators Recovered After Mysterious Disappearance

November 8, 1990

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) _ Three rare baby Chinese alligators that were stolen from a breeding farm turned up Wednesday outside a post office in a paper bag.

The babies, about a foot long, were covered with a brown sweater. A note attached asked the finder to return them to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

The note indicated the person knew nothing about two missing baby Siamese crocodiles stolen the same time Sunday night, said Bill Puckett, a spokesman for the farm.

The returned alligators, believed to be extinct in the wild, were dehydrated but in good condition, he said. ″We’re very glad they came back so quick.″

An anonymous telephone caller told the alligator farm Tuesday that the missing reptiles could be found in a paper bag between two dirt mounds along a particular road. Reptile curator Greg Lepera found nothing there and the area had just been mowed.

Debris was scattered everywhere. It didn’t look good for the gators.

Another call came to the farm, giving another location, where they were found by Hastings postal clerk Larry Prevatt.

The reptiles were hatched in a breeding program conducted with the Bronx Zoo, Puckett said.

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