The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirms it is investigating reports of multiple alligators with their heads cut off.
Those gruesome discoveries were made by neighbors in Loxahatchee Groves, Florida. Now, those neighbors are voicing concerns that this may not be the work of a hunter or poacher.
Amy Best is still trying to wrap her head around that gruesome sight. She showed us three large alligators with their heads cut off.
Two of them were lying on the edge of a canal behind her Loxahatchee Groves neighborhood. One of them was stuffed in a white container.
“It’s reprehensible,” said Best. “I don’t understand how people could do this.”
While she knows it is gator hunting season, Amy doesn’t believe a hunter or even a poacher is behind this.
“They wasted the skin, which is the most valuable part, and then the meat,” said Best.
That is why she is concerned about who is responsible and what that person could be capable of.
“Whoever is doing this and violently killing these animals can come after anybody,” said Best.
Best posted about her discovery on Facebook, and quickly learned her neighbors made similar discoveries in different spots.
Jeff Gallasch lives in the area too. He also saw the same headless gators.
“It makes me nervous because I have to be more protective,” said Gallasch. “I have to wonder if someone will do that to my dogs or theirs dogs.”
FWC officers visited the neighborhood and confirmed it found two of the gators. However, because of how decomposed the bodies were, investigators say it was hard to tell exactly what happened or even if this was something criminal in nature.
FWC says it’s not necessarily illegal to cut off a gator’s head, but you must have a permit. You also must dispose of the carcass properly. Even with a permit, you’re only allowed two gators per season.
Hunters are supposed to tag and report the harvests. We did not see any tags on these gators.