JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A headless alligator was found early Sunday in Panama Park. The man who found the gator said he couldn't believe what he was looking at and had no idea where it came from.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are now trying to find out who did this to the 6-foot long gator.
Zackary Saig, who lives nearby, said he and his friend made the gruesome discovery.
"I was riding down the road, and a friend of mine told me there was an alligator down the road and I was like, 'What alligator down the road?' And I came to see for myself and there's an alligator down here with its head cut off," Saig said.
FWC officers examined the alligator for possible evidence on its body that might help them figure out who did this, but could not find anything.
"I think it's kind of messed up, because they're supposed to be (a protected) species, I think," Saig said.
There is an alligator season for licensed hunters, FWC officials said. The license allows hunters to bag two alligators per season. There are penalties for killing an alligator without a permit, or even harassing an alligator.
"There's a misdemeanor charge, would be if someone is harassing or feeding or doing anything illegal during the seasons," said Brad Stanley, with FWC. "And then there's a felony charge that somebody intentionally killed or taking of an alligator out of season."
Saig said finding an alligator here is very odd and he and hopes whoever killed it is caught.
"That's something that doesn't happen every day around here," Saig said. "You don't find alligators with their heads cut off. Yeah, that's not something that you see around here. Not at all."
The Department of Transportation took the alligator's body away from the area to dispose of it.
FWC is asking anyone with information about how the gator ended up headless to contact them.