Ex-veterinarian back home without gator
A retired Uniontown veterinarian who was missing with his pet alligator since last week returned home over the weekend, his wife said Sunday.
James Ronald Davidson, 67, left his South Union home with Alli, a 3- to 4-foot-long brown and yellow alligator, without informing his family of his plans, police said.
Family members believed he intended to release Alli, whom he'd bought at a reptile show in Waynesburg a few years ago, back to the wild.
“That's what he did,” Kathleen Davidson, 64, said.
“He came home about 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. He's OK,” she said.
He found a sandy stretch near a stream leading to a pond, where he released Alli, she said.
“He said Alli turned around and looked at him, like ‘What are you doing?' It took a little while, then he disappeared under the water,” she said.
“Alli is where he is supposed to be,” she said.
Her husband is diabetic. He uses a cane because half of one foot has been removed and three toes have been removed from the other foot, she said. Her husband left without his walker or his medications, she said.
“The first thing he did (when he came home) was take his insulin,” she said.
James Davidson received some bad news from his doctor Monday, his wife said. She declined to provide specifics.
When he got home, he said he was going on a trip Tuesday.
But her husband left a day earlier, while she was visiting her daughter in Washington, Kathleen Davidson said.
Police stopped Davidson in Gainesville, Fla., on Wednesday morning. They did not detain him because he was not reported missing until later that day.
Kathleen Davidson said she waited until Wednesday to give her husband time to contact her. She said he did not have his cellphone with him.
The couple frequently visited the Everglades, and she originally thought that was where he was headed.
“But the Everglades are closed,” she said. The government shutdown has resulted in most of the country's national parks remaining closed.
She said her husband felt sad about having to turn Alli loose.
“He would say, ‘I'm going to miss him,' ” she said.
Alli had an entire bathroom for his home, with three heaters providing warmth.
Her husband's and her own health issues were making caring for the alligator — including changing his water — more difficult, Kathleen Davidson said.
She said her husband owned his own veterinary practice in Uniontown for 35 years. He has rehabilitated numerous injured wild animals over the years.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Post-war ‘welcome’ still stings Vietnam War veteran from Connellsville
- Connellsville, Mt. Pleasant fireworks postponed until Sunday
- Fayette County men recount fathers’ roles in World War II
- Aaron’s building review planned
- Funeral planned for Connellsville teen who died in crash
- Connellsville fireworks display back to riverbank
- Scott C’s July 4 Car Show planned in Connellsville
- Pam Porterfield: Church events, family reunions, benefits abound in Fayette County
- Day-old baby dropped at Uniontown hospital by nurse
- Investigation into dropped baby at Uniontown Hospital continues
- Uniontown natives’ charity honors friend wounded in Afghanistan