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The Villages
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Trapper captures 7-foot alligator at home in The Villages

A 7-foot alligator was captured Saturday afternoon at a home in The Villages.

The trapper, working for the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, responded to a home on Boiling Springs Court in the Village of Bonita to remove the alligator. Sumter County sheriff’s deputies were also at the scene.

A granddaughter and two sheriff's deputies look on as a trapper preparesd to take away the alligator
A granddaughter and two sheriff’s deputies look on as a trapper prepares to take away the alligator.
A trapper was called in to capture the 7 foot alligator in the Village of Bonita
A trapper was called in to capture the 7-foot alligator in the Village of Bonita.

More alligators are on the move at this time of year because it is mating season.

In 2022, the Village of Bonita was riveted by an alligator hunt at a pond after the alligator killed a dog which had been running loose near the water.

What happens to captured alligators?

Nuisance alligators are not “relocated.” They are euthanized. Generally, an alligator may be deemed a nuisance if it is at least four feet in length and it poses a threat to people, pets or property.

Relocated alligators often try to return to their capture site. They can create problems for people or other alligators along the way, according to FWC. If an alligator successfully returns, capturing it again would be necessary and likely more difficult the second time.

To avoid creating a problem at the release site, nuisance alligators would need to be relocated to remote areas where they would not encounter people. These remote areas already have healthy alligator populations, and the ones that already live there have established social structures. The introduction of a new alligator to these areas would likely cause fighting, possibly resulting in the death of a resident alligator or the introduced alligator.

There are about 1.3 million alligators in Florida. Alligators live in all 67 counties, and they inhabit all wild areas of Florida that can support them. The removal of nuisance alligators does not have a significant impact on the state’s alligator population.

The state pays a nominal fee to the trapper who can harvest the animal and sell the hide and meat. Many trappers have standing relationships with restaurants eager to buy the meat.

Residents can report problem alligators through the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

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