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Old 04-30-03, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Game Warden Drags Gator Behind Truck, Kills It


Video available @ the url above.

Game Warden Drags Gator Behind Truck, Kills It
Residents Angry Over Gator's Death

KATY, Texas -- Some Houston-area residents said they were upset Monday at the way a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department game warden got rid of 9-foot alligator in their neighborhood.

Residents told Houston's KPRC-TV that they called authorities after discovering the gator Thursday in the middle of a road in a Cinco Ranch neighborhood in Katy, Texas.

Witnesses recorded the gator's capture on videotape, in which the game warden was seen tying the animal to the back of his pickup, and then dragging it down the street while children and parents watched.

"It was very inhumane," resident Lara Mercadante said. "It was awful. It was absolutely unreal. If you weren't here you would not believe that it happened. We never thought that it was going to end up the way it did."

The game warden then took the alligator to the end of the street, and shot and killed it, authorities said.

"We at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department were disturbed as many other people were when they saw this video, as many other people were when they saw this video," TPWD Col. Jim Stinebaugh. "We sincerely regret that citizens were upset by seeing this happen."

TPWD officials said that although it is not typical practice for their officers to tow a live alligator behind a truck, they believe that the game warden followed what he felt was the most effective course of action.

"(The game warden) decided that the alligator was too big for him to catch and relocate and would have to be killed," Stinebaugh said. "It seemed appropriate to him that he would have to move the alligator, because it was not possible to shoot the alligator where it was."

However, officials said that as of a result of the incident, they are now reviewing their policies regarding nuisance alligator removal.
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