Nov. 19 of last year, federal wildlife officers in Dare County began an
investigation into a dead alligator that was recovered from the canal
adjacent to Highway 64, approximately one mile east of Milltail Road in
the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.
was determined the alligator had been shot. The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service is now asking for the public's help in identifying the
person or persons who committed this criminal act.
to refuge wildlife biologist Becky Harrison, the male alligator
measured approximately 11 feet long, weighed approximately 445 pounds
and was radio tagged. Based on data from research conducted
by partners at Framingham State College, an alligator this size that
has spent its life in this environment could have been more than 50
ecotherms, or animals whose regulation of body temperature depends on
external sources, it's difficult to estimate exact age, because reptile
growth is based on length of growing season. Northeastern North
Carolina represents the most northern part of their range, and the
winter season here limits the amount of growing days for resident
alligators, resulting in about 1 inch growth peryear. Alligators begin
reproducing when they reach 6 feet in size, which may take animals up
to 20 years to reach in this area.
with information is encouraged to report it to the Fish and Wildlife
Service Refuge Tip line (1-844-NWR-TIPS (697-8477)
or email [email protected]) or the NCWRC Tip line
(1-855-WILDTIP) or visit NCWRC Tips at http://www.ncwildlife.org/wildtip for other reporting options (text, email, etc.).
interested may also contact Federal Wildlife Officer Jay Eddy at
252-216-8724 or N.C. Wildlife Officer Anna Barbosa with the North
Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at 252-947-1510. The reporting
party may be eligible for a reward. Persons reporting may
also remain anonymous.