The alligator had been captured at some point and shot in the head.
“We hate seeing wildlife like that.”
An 8-foot alligator.
“I was walking out and saw something floating and I was like oh, goodness what is that?” asks Geneva Payne from Kentucky. It washed ashore on a little strip of beach on Little Lagoon.
“I wanted to make sure it wasn’t alive and I went over and saw that it had tape around its teeth and stuff and saw it floating and it was definitely dead. It was really weird, kind of sad,” says Payne.
Even for wildlife officials, “especially something that had been tortured the way it was. Having duct tape around its mouth and gunshot wounds,” says park ranger Landon Coker.
Park rangers from the state park removed the carcass. Poaching is a criminal act. This time it will most likely go unpunished.
“It probably wasn’t done around these houses,” says Coker. “Probably done within a quarter mile from this area.”
Certainly, not the way you want to start a family vacation, “It’s pretty unfortunate,” says Payne. “It’s kind of sad. We were all kind of bummed for it for its life to be taken like that.”
Alligators are federally protected and can only be hunted in season with proper tags.
To report a crime to Wildlife Law Enforcement in Alabama call: 1-800-272-GAME.