Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Monday, 7 July 2008 09:25 UK

Costa trip for seized alligator

The alligator was seized during a raid in the Scottish Borders

An alligator seized in the Borders by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is to be taken to a wildlife park on the Costa del Sol.

The animal - named Alice - was found in a raid on premises in Galashiels along with a Western Diamondback rattlesnake.

It is alleged they were both being kept without a licence, required under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

A report is being prepared for the procurator fiscal regarding the raid in which the animals were recovered.

After they were found earlier this year the alligator and rattlesnake were taken to the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow Airport near London where specialist staff have been caring for them.

Alice, a five-and-a-half feet long spectacled caiman alligator, has now found a new permanent home in southern Spain.

British Airways are flying her out on Tuesday in a specially-constructed wooden crate to The Crocodile Park in Torremolinos.

The park already boasts 300 crocodiles of 12 different species.

Extremely grateful

Spectacled caiman alligators are normally found in central and southern America so it is hoped Alice will appreciate the warmer climes.

However, the rattlesnake is expected to be housed in a specialist zoo in Britain.

Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the SSPCA, said: "As a charity we are extremely grateful to British Airways for flying the alligator out to Spain.

"She will be accompanied on her journey by two officers from the SSPCA to ensure she settles well into her new home."

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