Owner Of Beechview Gator Wants 'Chomp' Back

Mark McGowan says his gator is harmless and is used for educational purposes

Larry Richert and John Shumway
June 11, 2019 - 10:35 am
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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - An alligator captured in Beechview was the second of three gators found wandering around Pittsburgh in the past month.

The plan is to send them to a zoo in New Jersey and then onto Florida.

But Mark McGowan of Beechview, the owner of five foot “Chomp” and tells John Shumway on KDKA Radio he wants him back but can’t afford him so supporters are starting a Go Fund Me page so he can raise the money to get him back.

McGowan says Chomp isn't the dangerous reptile he's made out to be.

“To look at them they can be a little scary, unless you get to know them,” said McGowan.

He was surprised when he managed to break through a screened window to the street ten feet below.

“They’re great animals, they’re extremely intelligent I mean I got outsmarted by one when he snuck out my window.”

He's had Chomp three years and takes him to reptile shows on the weekend. He also claims that the gator is domesticated, wouldn’t hurt anybody and his favorite food is hot dogs.

“I mean he stays at the house . . . he’s domesticated like a dog.”

Mark McGowan

McGowan says he stepped forward when police told him he wouldn't be charged.

“I got kids, I got family, I feel bad that this happened to the neighbors, I apologize.”

McGowan says that “hundreds” of people call him every month just to see him and that everyone loves him.

Asked if he really kisses Chomp, McGowan said, “Yes…I never tongued him John, swear to God.”

Mark McGowan

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