Gator killed near Tampa apartment complex - WRBL

Gator killed near Tampa apartment complex

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials killed an alligator Wednesday that lived in a river behind a Tampa apartment complex.

Officials say someone may have been feeding the reptile, which showed up behind the Rivertree Landing Apartments on Indian River Drive.
 
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officer Baryl Martin says, "When we arrived the alligator appeared to have no fear of humans as well as being a nuisance in the area."

Martin says feeding wild alligators in Florida is dangerous.

Martin points out, it's also illegal, “It's a second degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida, punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine."

"Anytime you feed an alligator, it loses its fear of humans and associates humans with food. So, anytime it sees a human, it can't distinguish between it's the person who fed it and it's not the person. So, they will come towards them expecting food, at which time it becomes a danger to the person. If anytime an alligator becomes a danger to a person it's removed, at which time it's not relocated, it's euthanized."

Related content: Alligator regulations & associated statutes

A licensed trapper responded to the Rivertree Landing Apartment complex along with FWC officers. The alligator was captured and killed. Its skin, meat, feat and even its skull will be sold.

FWC officers are now trying to figure out who may have been feeding the gator.

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