RIP Mr. Teeth: Pot-Guarding Reptile Meets His End
He was a caiman, and a tribute to Tupac
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2013 10:43 AM CST
File photo of a caiman, a reptile similar to an alligator.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

(Newser) – Authorities in Northern California made an unusual discovery during a routine probation check: An alligator-like reptile named "Mr. Teeth," who was apparently protecting a stash of marijuana. When Alameda County Sheriff's deputies entered the Castro Valley home on Tuesday, they not only found 34 pounds of marijuana valued at an estimated $100,000, but also the 5-foot-long caiman (a close relative of the alligator) inside a Plexiglas tank guarding the drugs in a bedroom.

The reptile's owner, Assif Mayar, was arrested that day and later charged with one count of possessing marijuana for sale. He could also face citations from the California Fish and Game Commission, including possession of an exotic animal without a permit. Mayar told deputies he got the creature to commemorate rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 death. Alas, officials at the Oakland Zoo said Mr. Teeth died Wednesday, a day after it was seized by county animal control officers. It had been sick when it arrived.