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Caiman Found Guarding Pot Dies at Oakland Zoo

The animal that was originally believed to be an alligator was non-responsive when he arrived at the zoo, according to media reports.

Updated: 12:01 p.m.

By Bay City News Service

A caiman that was found guarding 34 pounds of marijuana at a Castro Valley home on Tuesday died early this morning, zoo officials said.

The caiman was found by Alameda County sheriff's deputies near the stash of dry, processed marijuana at a home in the 19000 block of Mt. Jasper Drive on Tuesday afternoon, sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

The discovery was made during a probation compliance check.

The 5-foot-long caiman, known as Mr. Teeth, was in a Plexiglas tank, Nelson said.

The suspect, 32-year-old Assif Mayar, was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on drug possession and sales charges, according to the sheriff's office.

Nelson said Mayar apparently acquired Mr. Teeth in 1996 to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur. It appears the animal was being used as a deterrent to scare away would-be marijuana thieves, he said.

Mr. Teeth was taken to the Oakland Zoo, where zoo staff examined him and determined that he was in poor health, zoo officials said.

Staff put Mr. Teeth in quarantine after the examination, and he died early this morning, according to the zoo.

Mayar is scheduled to appear in court to be arraigned this afternoon.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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  • Alligator Used To Guard Pot in Castro Valley
Anneke9 January 10, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I hope the drug-dealing clown is charged with animal cruelty.
Tim January 10, 2013 at 08:57 PM
I hope the ASPCA HLE officers investigate and prosecute him as well. It would seem to me they would have jurisdiction if this animal was brought in across state lines.
Zolla January 10, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Now everyone in the neighborhood knows where their cats went.
Jessica Gardner January 10, 2013 at 09:19 PM
The big question is who killed him?
Anne January 10, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Probably poor nutrition, being kept in an inadequately-sized container and the trauma of being moved.
Andrew January 10, 2013 at 10:23 PM
The thing lived with him since 1996 and all of a sudden he dies?
Livermoronian January 11, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Sounds fishy!
Getaclue January 11, 2013 at 09:23 PM
looking at the picture it looked to be in poor health...sad.
Jessica Gardner January 11, 2013 at 11:56 PM
That isn't his picture it's one off the Internet.. Very very suspicious death

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