Abbotsford firefighters who were on the scene of a Pineview Avenue blaze on Thursday afternoon alerted police to a grow-op in an adjacent house.
When police arrived with a search warrant, they found an unexpected occupant in the home: a six-foot-long alligator in an aquarium.
Const. Ian MacDonald said a 30-year-old male occupant of the residence, who left the scene before police arrived, now faces possible charges of marijuana production. The conservation office is investigating to determine whether the alligator is legally owned.
Members of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service inadvertently came upon the grow-op while knocking on neighbours’ doors to determine whether they had experienced any problems related to the fire.
They then notified police, who located approximately 375 marijuana plants in the garage and basement of the residence.
MacDonald said police weren’t sure what to do about the alligator, and the conservation officer advised them to leave it there.
“It’s not usually in the police mandate to take possession of alligators,” MacDonald joked.