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FWC investigates dead alligator found without head in south Fort Myers neighborhood

A headless alligator has been rotting and floating in a Southwest Florida canal for days, and it’s stinking up an entire neighborhood.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the beheading of an alligator near neighbor’s homes in south Fort Myers.

“There’s a least 50 birds around picking at it,” neighbor David Herzog said.

Herzog said he found the alligator carcass Monday in the canal behind his home. The awful smell is what led him to it.

“Then, when the birds leave, there’s a bunch of flies on it and, yeah, it stinks, and it’s getting worse,” Herzog said. “I’m not going to go there to find out, but it looks headless.”

Herzog called FWC, and the agency confirms its now investigating. It’s too early to say whether someone killed the gator and dumped it in the canal illegally.

“These are protected animals,” said Ray Simonsen, an alligator trapper. “What part of protected don’t people understand?”

Simonsen traps nuisance alligators and knows all about these creatures.

“They’re beautiful creatures,” Simonsen said. “They’re misunderstood.”

There’s no doubt in Simonsen’s mind, he believes what happened is wrong.

“To kill wildlife and just leave it to rot, to me, that’s unethical,” Simonsen said. “Utilize everything. Be compassionate about it.”

Herzog agrees.

“I think it’s disgusting. If it’s gator season, you can hunt gators, great,” Herzog said. “Catch a gator, and bring it home. But don’t cut its head off and throw it in the canal.”

Herzog wants someone to retrieve the dead alligator, but FWC did not confirm if or when an officer will do that.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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