Why Now?
Monday, May 23, 2005
  Living With Wildlife
The AP locates this report just down the road in Pensacola: Man Accused of Poaching Alligator.
A man charged with illegally hunting an alligator said he shot into the water to protect his daughter.

Michael Vann, 45, has been ordered to appear in court June 10 to face a felony charge. But he said a 4- to 5-foot gator charged his 9-year-old daughter while she was fishing about 400 feet from their home, and it sank after he fired.

If you read that and know nothing about alligators his story sounds reasonable. Now ask yourself: Florida just passed a law approving gunfights in the Wal-Mart parking lot, so why are they arresting this guy?

The alligator has been around two weeks, according to the story, and Mr. Vann claims he has been unable to contact Fish & Wildlife, so why was he letting his daughter fish near it? Why did he go back to the house and get a gun, instead of pitching something at the alligator to scare it off?

For that alligator to hang around, it had to have a food supply, was he or his daughter feeding it [an illegal action in Florida]? Why wasn't this alligator "cruising singles bars" like all of the other 'gators this time of year?

What ever was going on, it isn't likely to be what Mr. Vann reported. The story doesn't make sense based an alligator's normal behavior, and that's why he was charged.

[Note: There is a licensed alligator trapper in the area and he has captured and relocated several much larger animals.]

 



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