Who mutilated an alligator and left its headless, tail-less body in a vacant lot in Brevard County?
That's the question Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators are still trying to answer after the animal was found dead Thursday.
- FWC continues to investigate headless gator case
- Wildlife trapper says he thinks there was poaching
- PREVIOUS: FWC investigates headless gator found in Rockledge
"Disgusting" is the word Brevard County wildlife trapper James Dean thinks of when it comes to what happened to a 6 to 8 foot gator found in a wooded area in Rockledge Thursday.
"I've seen mutilated alligators, where the head has been taken, and the tails been taken," Dean said.
This was how the alligaor near the cul de sac at the end of Timbers West Boulevard was found. The carcass was left headless and tailless, and rotting in the afternoon sun.
Dean isn't a gator trapper by trade, but he knows a poaching situation when he sees one.
"They will keep the head as a trophy, then of course, the tail is for meat," Dean told Spectrum News.
The problem is it's not gator hunting season right now -- it's gator mating season.
"The alligators are moving around," Dean said.
FWC has strict guidelines when it comes to hunting alligators, by being approved to hunt in a specific area and mandatory tagging of the animal to document the kill.
"If you are not a legal gator trapper, and you have an alligator in the back of your truck, it's totally illegal," Dean said.
FWC says they are following leads in this case, calling it an active criminal investigation.
In Florida, gator hunting season runs from mid-August to November.