Friday, August 28, 2009

Reward Offered in Columbia County, Ga. Alligator Killing

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing an alligator in Columbia County, Ga. The alligator was found dead on private property behind Brown Feed and Seed on Washington Road in Evans, Ga. the morning of Monday, Aug. 24.

The Case:

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the animal was found with more than half of his body missing. His head was sawed off from his front legs forward, and his tail was severed from his body. The owner of Brown Feed and Seed explained to media sources that the alligator, called "Big Boy," was well-liked since he took up residence in the pond four years ago. The alligator reportedly weighed more than 200 pounds and was dragged out of the water before being killed.

"The callous poaching of this alligator is a serious crime and shows the disregard some individuals have of wildlife," said Cheryl McAuliffe, Georgia state director for The HSUS. "The HSUS applauds the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for thoroughly investigating this incident."

According to media reports, local CPA firm Hall, Hall & Associates is also offering a $500 reward for information and First Saturday Crew, a group that works on cleanup projects on the Augusta Canal, is offering $200 in restaurant gift certificates. With the $100 reward offered by Turn in Poachers for information on any wildlife taken out of season, this brings the total reward to $3,300.

If caught, the person or persons responsible could face a number of poaching charges, including trespassing, killing an animal out of season and possession of illegally taken wildlife. The person or persons could also face animal cruelty charges.

Poaching:

Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about the case should call the Turn In Poachers 24-hour hot line at (800) 241-4113. Tips may remain anonymous.

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