You can keep dead gators, not live ones - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

You can keep dead gators, not live ones

You may remember that huge 12 foot alligator we showed you Wednesday that hunters took from Lake Blackshear.

As all could clearly see in our report, the big gator was captured and still very much alive. As it turns out, holding the gator in captivity is illegal. Now Department of Natural Resources rangers are making sure alligator hunters know the law.

Peanut Trull and David Law took a 12 foot, 650 pound alligator early Wednesday morning in a popular part of Lake Blackshear. Law and Trull said they fought the gator for close to four hours to return it live to shore and tie it to his boat trailer. But rangers who saw our video were concerned about them hauling this live alligator on public roads.

"Transporting wildlife. Any wildlife in possession in a live state is illegal based on state law. It's illegal to possess any wildlife in a live state without properly being permitted by our department," said Department of Natural Resources Corporal Scott Carroll.

State alligator hunting law says that the gator should be dispatched or killed as soon as the hunter has it in possession. Rangers say they do not want hunters fighting to take control of a predator this large.

"Potentially in a dangerous environment already due to the water," said Carroll said. "If you get to rocking around and fighting with these animals and somebody gets thrown out or the boat capsizes due to it's weight, then we could have some serious issues on our hands. That's one of the major issues for the law stating that the animal has to be dispatched once it's brought into possession."

Law said they wanted to keep the alligator alive so that the meat would not spoil, which will go bad in just hours. And he was not aware of that hunting regulation. Rangers say they want hunters to know the law, and to obey it for safety.

Alligator hunters will be out in great numbers overnight across South Georgia, and rangers want them to know the law. If you take a gator, you must kill it when you take possession with either a pistol or bang stick.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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