Authorities Search for Gator Killers

Wildlife officials are still looking into a major number of alligator deaths in our area. While there doesn't seem to be a plot behind these gator killings, authorities are on the hunt for suspects.

Two dozen alligators were found shot to death in Lafayette County, all shot at Mallory Swamp mostly between the north and south grade canals.

Delores Jackson, a Lafayette County resident, says, "It's not nice to leave animals out there to die, especially those alligators. People out there killing them shouldn't leave them out there to die."

It's against the law to kill or possess parts of an alligator in the state of Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has arrested six people so far.

OFC Rod Boone with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says, "It's a very wasteful act. They're not trying to consume the alligators. They're not trying to take any parts off the alligators. They're just simply killing it because it is an alligator."

A dirt road splits Mallory Swamp between its public and private areas. OFC Boone says this can make it easy for shooters.

OFC Boone says, "When they're riding down a grade, they see the alligator, they shoot it and then they leave. It takes approximately five seconds to commit the crime."

It's a third-degree felony to kill an alligator without a permit and punishable by fine and/or prison.

Anyone with information about the alligator shootings are asked to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline toll free at 1-888-404-3922.

Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.