MULBERRY, Fla. - Driving along Nichols Road off Highway 60 in Mulberry, Lashae Davis noticed something out of the ordinary.
“I passed something and I was like, um what is that?” she said.
When she got out of her car, she realized it was an alligator missing its tail and head.
“It was very bothering,” Davis said. “Whoever did it didn’t have any type of, I don’t even have the word for it. You could tell it was kind of fresh, they just left it there,” she said.
Just last week, a gator was found on the side of the Highway 37 in Lakeland, about a mile from Mulberry. It was also missing its head and tail.
Fox 13 recently spoke with a gator expert who said the tails were likely harvested for the meat, and
the suspected poachers may have taken the heads as trophies.
“Like any kind of animal there's a lot of poaching like that, and that's really not respectful
to the animals, to the law, and the citizens,” John Paner, the director of Croc Encounters said.
Under Florida law, it’s a felony to hurt or kill an alligator outside of hunting season, which begins in August and ends in November.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says its investigating the incidents.