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I always wondered how they did this:

This is in Florida, which has a very tightly regulated alligator hunting season.

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west virginia alligator

From WSAZ.com:

An alligator is such a bizarre, unusual sight in the waters of the Upper Mud River that even seeing isn’t necessarily believing.

“I didn’t even tell my wife,” says Jack Stonestreet, who was fishing on the river last Thursday. “I didn’t tell her because, to be honest, I didn’t think anyone would believe me.”

Fishermen over the past several days contacted the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources to tell them of the gator sighting. On Saturday, Nick Huffman, a field superintendent with the DNR, saw the scaled reptile with his own eyes.

“I would say he’s a half grown alligator, a total measurement of 67 inches,” Huffman says. “That’s big enough I knew not to get on him in hand-to-hand combat.”

The DNR shot the alligator and pulled it out of the water.

The alligator will now be dissected. Opening the alligator’s stomach may give the DNR some insight as to where it may have come from and how long it was in the river.

West Virginia has almost no regulations on alligator ownership– probably because most people have sense enough not to own one!

But I have seen alligators and caimans available at pet stores, and every once in a while, someone releases a pet alligator into a river or lake in hopes that it will survive in the wild (I guess).

The problem is that alligators live only as far north as northeastern North Carolina.  There is some debate about about them having an historical range into southeastern Virginia. I’ve always heard that the Great Dismal Swamp was the northern boundary, but I’ve also heard that alligators once ranged into the James River. In North Carolina, they are found only in the coastal plain, where the winters are comparatively mild. My guess is if they were found in Virginia at one time, they were never found out of the extreme southeastern part of the state, and if they did occur in the James River, my guess is they were found only near the coast.

If they aren’t found outside of North Carolina’s coast plain, how on earth could they survive in West Virginia?

People are amazingly dumb about animals. Alligators are not good pets. I’m surprised I had to type that sentence. An alligator can eat you. It has very powerful jaws and a relatively small brain.  And although they are smarter than, say,  iguanas or box turtles, they are about the same level of intelligence as a chicken.  Powerful jaws and a small brain are a combination a combination for a dangerous pet.

Oh, yeah, and you need a massive heated enclosure that contains both a swimming area and a basking area, which has to be cleaned on a regular basis.

But if you get one and live in one of these states that has an actual winter, please don’t dump it in the local river. It’s either going to freeze to death or someone is going to shoot it.

There is no “born free” scenario that works out well for the alligator.

But some people just don’t care.

***

One of the most interesting alligator populations that has been established outside their normal range is the Tennessee River in northern Alabama. Most of these are on the Wheeler Lake Reservoir.

Alligators are native to southern Alabama, but they were introduced to the Tennessee River at some point in the 1960’s or 1970’s.

These alligators are outside their native range, and they also are living in a somewhat cooler climate than they normally would experience.

However, even northern Alabama has much milder winters than West Virginia, and there is no chance of them ever becoming established here.

 

 

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But I bet he’s a Mormon.

 

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Source.

This is an old story, but I somehow missed it.

Um. Contrary to what that fellow says, alligators aren’t as safe or safer than domestic dogs.

For one thing, a dog is domesticated. It also has a relatively large brain, so it can learn rules and be safe.

Alligators, not so much.

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From The St. Petersburg Times

To save Lizbeth the dog from the jaws of an alligator Thursday morning, Tom Martino pulled out his gun and fired around the thrashing in the Hillsborough River.

When the Jack Russell terrier got free from the gator’s grip, Martino fished Lizbeth from the water and gave her mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

The 15-pound, black-and-white dog is being treated at a veterinarian’s office for puncture wounds and lung complications from almost drowning.

“I just pulled my gun out and started blasting,” Martino said. “I didn’t really want to hit the alligator, but I wanted to scare the damn thing to let her go.”

The alligator was trapped by authorities Thursday night.

The attack happened about 11 a.m. as Martino, 57, was walking with Lizbeth in back of his central Tampa house on the river.

At first, Martino thought the commotion was Lizbeth tangling with a duck. But it was a 5-foot alligator instead.

Nervous about shooting the dog, Martino instead fired his .357-caliber handgun around the alligator until it released Lizbeth and swam away.

He retrieved the dog and started giving CPR, breathing into her nostrils.

“She was just like dead, you know?” he said. “I was petrified for the dog, because she’s like a baby to me.”

But then the dog spit out water and began breathing again. Martino and his wife rushed Lizbeth to Florida Veterinary Specialists, 3000 Busch Lake Blvd.

“Right now, she’s holding her own,” said Bonita Voiland, the veterinary office’s director of marketing and communications.

Doctors are treating alligator wounds — two punctures on the dog’s back and teeth marks on her belly — and lung problems.

They’re also concerned about infections because the 9-year-old dog had been at the clinic last week, Martino said, after acting lethargic.

Martino asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to set a trap; the gator was caught around 6 p.m.

“It never went for his trap, but he threw a line out there and snatched it,” Martino said.

Now I knew a JRT that looked exactly like Lizbeth.

She lived with my grandpa and with Willie’s dad in North Carolina.

If a ‘gator grabbed her, I think he’d have a couple of holes shot in him.

None of this “shooting around business.”

 

 

Hat tip to Bill for sending this one along

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Just a hunch:

Source.

The person who put this up on youtube has a channel called the AlligatorTrainer.

Just imagine what will happen if this thing bites an arm when it’s 3 or 4 feet long:

Source

I don’t think a 100 gallon tank’s gonna hold them:

Source.

I’m no expert on crocodilian husbandry, but these little alligators don’t look all that healthy.

I don’t think this is going to end well.

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