My TikTok famous alligator is being held 'hostage,' man claims
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He’s trying to gator back.

Joshua Applebaum, 40 and a Michigan resident, is known on TikTok for showcasing his four-foot pet alligator, Karen, and has almost 300,000 followers between two accounts.

He now claims that Karen is currently being held “hostage” by an animal rescue center. 

After being involved in a high speed chase for speeding, Applebaum was pulled over by deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office who were shocked to find Karen in his passenger seat, according to Fox 2.

“The passenger, ‘Karen’ the alligator, attempted to flee the scene but was taken into custody after a short scuffle,” the department said on Facebook.

Karen was handed over to Cicchelli Second Chance Rescue and Exotics, but Applebaum now wants her back after making bail following his arrest.

An alligator laying down
Karen has given Applebaum almost 300,000 followers between two accounts on TikTok.
TikTok/@adayinthelifeofkaren_

Currently the rescue center is still housing the reptile.

“I do not have Karen in my custody. She’s being held hostage at this point,” Applebaum told Fox 2.

April Cicchelli, who runs the rescue, said that he is not capable of providing Karen with the proper care. 

“I have no care in the world that she is TikTok famous,” she told Fox 2. “She is in our large gator exhibit with three other alligators.”

When discussing Applebaum’s behavior she mentioned, “He started showing aggressive behavior, disrespectful behavior to us and our facility. We are not willing to mistakenly put one of our alligators in a homeless situation, running from police, living in a car.”

Both parties have expressed a willingness to take their dispute to civil court.

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