It's A Record Breaker! Let's Kill It!

Sigh. Just up the street from my home in Florida a record-breaking alligator was caught this past weekend. A gigantic fourteen foot three and a half inch male was harpooned and towed in by locals out on Lake Washington in Brevard County. The length and measurements were verified by FWCC. While its certainly legal and “proper” to hunt American alligators when in season here in the sunshine state, it has always gnawed at me that recreational hunters and anglers are bent on catching the biggest of the species available as a trophy and killing it to prove their story.

Large male alligators perform immeasurable ecosystem services – like maintaining gator holes as water sources in wintertime droughts – and are dead sexy to the ladies of their kind. As the FWCC officer notes in this report, we don’t see much of these enormous reptiles in the waterways here and with this behemoth now out of the genetic loop I can’t help but feel a twinge of loss.

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3 Comments to “It's A Record Breaker! Let's Kill It!”

  1. Our environmental values must be really messed up when we prefer to see genes of these [and other] successful organisms stretched out in a bag, shoes or a belt… rather than in their habitat; that day, when we are no longer diverse, that day we will bemoan actions like these…

  2. A guest told me the other day that if she ever saw an alligator she was going to run it over with her car because “they’re useless anyways”. I quickly educated her to the contrary and told her all the wonderful things they do provide to the Florida ecosystem. I gave her the benefit of doubt because she was from the UK but still didn’t let her off easy. Of course, this is the same country where they’re afraid that the “Emperor of Exmoor” is now shot and hanging on a hunters wall because he was/is a 900lb stag and the largest land mammal in the country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_of_Exmoor

  3. As an active Florida kayaker I consider the killing of that beautiful, old gator a personal loss. I think we’ve met him before in the area of Lake Washington and always marveled at his size and beauty. We silently paddle the uniquely scenic waters of Florida to visit their habitat and to observe their behavior and enrich our knowledge of the way they live. Harpooning this big guy simply because of his size proves nothing. I’m sure his executioner will proudly display a wallet photo of the corpse to all of his buddies. Wow, what a man!!!