Calls for gator to be removed from canal in South Gulf Cove causes feud between neighbors

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

A feud is becoming heated over gators. Neighbors in South Gulf Cove say there have been more calls for gator removal from the canal.

Brenda Futch moved to South Gulf Cove for tranquility. “It’s beautiful. It’s serene, peaceful, we love our wildlife.”

Her favorite neighbor has been dubbed “one-eyed Jack.”

“We loved watching him, we loved taking pictures of him,” she said. “It’s all being taken away.”

One neighbor called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove “one-eyed Jack” last month from the canal.  Another neighbor called back this week to report a second nuisance gator. A trapper tried to capture it with bait.

The homeowner later removed that bait.

Marcia Vaccaro is the vice president of the conservancy and community trust of South Gulf Cove.

“I feel that if people can’t come here to enjoy the wildlife, they might make a better choice and stay someplace else,” Vaccaro said.

Gene Noonan also lives in South Gulf Cove. “It had become inappropriate and unsafe.”

Noonan lives across the street from the canal and says he made one of those calls to the FWC.

“We had a 12-foot alligator right here after dark. We had smaller fences here. They were knocking them over and coming up here,” Noonan said. He pointed to Florida’s 26 fatal gator attacks since 1948.

The FWC will send a trapper to a residential area if someone feels threatened.  A spokesperson told WINK News that it won’t hurt the species because our gator population is healthy.

Futch wants it to stay that way. “They want to change this beautiful, beautiful area. We’re invading these poor precious species.”

She believes that her neighbors and our wildlife should be able to share that habitat peacefully.

The neighbor that removed the bait says the trapper told him to do so. The FWC says trappers will either euthanize captured gators or take them to gator farms.

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