4 alligators shot dead, dumped at Hahnville boat launch

June 22, 2012 at 8:54 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

This alligator was shot in the head and left at the Hahnville boat launch on Highway 3127.
Courtesy Photo
This alligator was shot in the head and left at the Hahnville boat launch on Highway 3127.
Four alligators were found shot dead last week at the Highway 3127 boat launch in Hahnville.

Three of the alligators were apparently dumped in the water near the launch, while another was found in the back down ramp. Ralph Hymel took a photo of one of the dead alligators and said it had been shot in the head.

"They were shot and left," he said. "It looks like someone didn’t want to get caught with them."

Agents with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries responded to the call, but Sgt. Chris Bourgeois said it has proven difficult to find information about the crime since there were no witnesses.

Bourgeois added that agents often find alligators that have been left for dead.

"It’s not every day, but it does happen about once a month," he said. "People shoot them and drop them off at various places, usually they cut off the head or tail."

The hunting season for alligators in St. Charles Parish runs from August through September. An alligator hunter must either own land or have permission to hunt alligators on land that is classified as wetland habitat in order to qualify for alligator harvest tags.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries issues harvest tags for property containing sufficient alligator habitat capable of sustaining an alligator harvest.

Taking an alligator during a closed season carries a $400 to $950 fine and/or jail time of up to 120 days.

Louisiana’s wild alligator population is estimated to be approaching 2 million. There are also more than 300,000 alligators on alligator farms in Louisiana, according to the LDWF.

View other articles written Jonathan Menard

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