Officials: Big Gator Shouldn't Have Been Killed

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Wildlife officials say a 13-foot alligator that was trapped in St. Petersburg shouldn't have been killed.

Lt. Gary Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency's field office in Lakeland told the Tampa Bay Times ( ) the alligator hunter got some misinformation from one of their officers. Morse says the gator's Sept. 25 death is being investigated.

Morse says trapper Jovan Johannessen had a countywide alligator permit. When he received his permit, he also got a manual that clearly states trapping is prohibited in "incorporated cities and municipalities."

George Heinrich, a local wildlife biologist, says the gator was called "Big Al" for years and says it wasn't a nuisance.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster says he hopes the wildlife agency "prosecutes under the full extent of the law."


Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.),

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