If you’re going to have 34 pounds of dried marijuana at your house, you might as well guard it with an alligator. That must be the logic employed by Assif Mayar, 32, to rationalize his pet Mr. Teeth, the dwarf caiman that is often mistaken for an alligator.

Unfortunately, Mr. Teeth died overnight at the Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital, one day after Alameda County sheriff’s deputies found him and the 34 pounds of pot at a home in Castro Valley.

The five-foot reptile was “critically ill and non-responsive” when he arrived at the zoo, according to spokeswoman Nicky Mora. After an examination took place and blood samples were drawn, hospital staff determined his “prognosis was poor.”

Mayar claims he got the caiman in 1996 “to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur.” Because what better way to say you care about a talented artist murdered by gang violence than with a miniature alligator-like creature? He’s now being held on $160,000 bail after being arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale.

Caimans are members of the crocodile family, and usually found around the Amazon River in South America. They’re more tolerant to cold than their larger cousins, and since having a miniature pet crocodile seems like one of the coolest things ever, they’ve become popular pets for reptile lovers in the U.S.

As with any exotic pet, special care must be taken to make sure they stay happy and healthy. They have needs that go beyond taking the dog for a walk or changing the kitty litter box. To take one on and not care for it properly is unfair and cruel to the animal.

It seems that poor Mr. Teeth did not get the care he needed from Mr. Mayar. Bad decision making, dude. A sick caiman is no good at all for guarding your drug stash. Obviously.

Should these animals even be kept as pets?


Image via contemplicity/Flickr