Well, it turns out I have fallen victim to rumors. You know how it goes with such stories, as soon the rumor mill starts the story is attributed to different places. Thanks to Webcudgel I got hold of the real source and the place where the alligator/deer incident really happened.
The following article is republished here with permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Southeast Region. (Picture courtesy of Terri Jenkins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
The sight of a 12 to 14 foot-long alligator is something south Georgia folks see occasionally, but few have seen one take an adult deer out to lunch. Actually -- for lunch.
The photographs of this deer-eating alligator were taken from the air by Terri Jenkins, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service District Fire Management Officer. She was preparing to ignite a prescribed fire at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, about 40 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2004. The photo has
“One advantage of fire work is you get to see that 12-14 footers are common from Santee National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina to Coastal South Carolina to Georgia’s coast,” said Jenkins. “It looks like the alligator population is doing extremely well.”
This one was at least 12-13 feet long. Jenkins said that some bull alligators have a 35 inch girth.
The Service uses a helicopter capable of igniting controlled burns by dropping flaming fuel-filled ping pong balls on pre-selected areas. She works throughout parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Coastal Georgia refuges and fish hatcheries. The Service uses prescribed fire to improve habitat and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
If you’re a deer hunter, the refuge hosts an archery hunt on September 15-17, 2004 and a gun hunt November 19, 2004 (only 150 permits will be issued). For more information, and to obtain an application, visit: http://harrisneck.fws.gov/. Applications must be received by August 31, 2004 at Savannah Coastal Refuges, 1000 Business Center Drive, Parkway Business Center, Suite 10, Savannah, Georgia, 31405.
The alligator will not be charged with hunting deer out of season, animal cruelty, or any one of several possible water quality violations. He may, however, be charged with being one mean gator. If we could catch him... Or wanted to...
Tags: Alligator, Deer, Georgia, Archery Hunt