Jan 10, 2013 3:14 PM by Alyse Rzemek

Caiman lizard used to deter pot thieves

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) -- Zoo officials say a caiman named "Mr. Teeth" that had been apparently protecting a stash of marijuana in a Northern California home has died.

Oakland Zoo officials said Thursday that the 5-foot-long caiman died Wednesday, a day after it was seized by Alameda County Sheriff's during a probation check at a home in Castro Valley.

Zoo officials say that the caiman, which resembles an alligator, arrived at the zoo critically ill and non-responsive.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Mr. Teeth was likely used to deter marijuana thieves. Suspect Assif Mayar told deputies he got the gator to commemorate rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 death.

He was arrested and in jail on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale.



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