Mutilated alligator found in NW Cape Coral

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
mutilated gator
Credit: WINK News

Neighbors in northwest Cape Coral were shocked to find a mutilated alligator in their neighborhood. None of them are quite sure why someone would do something like this.

One of these neighbors said some people cut the heads off of alligators as a trophy and use the tails for meat. Another thinks this happened because someone wanted to be flat-out cruel to animals.

David Diefenbaugh and Cindy Hogan knew this animal as the friendly neighborhood alligator. “Just a cool little gator, you know,” Diefenbaugh said.

“It was very cool to see the little gator around and like David said, it was friendly, it would swim right up,” Hogan said.

But the little alligator must’ve swum to the wrong person. On Friday, Diefenbaugh found the gator without a head or tail. “They were like sharp cuts, it wasn’t like another animal bit the head off or bit the tail, these were purposely cut off, you know,” he said.

This was a disturbing sight, indeed, but Diefenbaugh is just glad his young daughter wasn’t with him upon his discovery.

“It just shouldn’t be happening now. There’s a gator season for a reason and I don’t even think that a 3-and-a-half, 4-foot gator would… I don’t even know if that would be something a hunter would want, you know,” Diefenbaugh said.

We are currently in the middle of alligator mating season.

Hogan said she’s lived in this neighborhood for the past five years and this isn’t the first time she’s seen something like this.

“We saw this big white thing and we said, ‘That’s a gator’s belly,’ and then we looked at it and the tail, like he said [you can] just tell this was cut off so cleanly, so was that tail.”

Now, these two neighbors are hoping there will be justice for these animals. They also hope they never see anything like this again.

“Whoever did this should be held accountable,” Diefenbaugh said.

“We do have another one that’s a little bigger than that one that’s been coming around; this one’s not friendly which is good, I like that,” Hogan said. “But now I’m afraid he might not show up either because whoever got this one make take that one too.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said this kind of crime can lead to a third-degree felony.

And, if you’re going to hunt alligators, you must have a permit and can only kill them during their harvesting season, which is from Aug. 15 to Nov. 1.

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