Decomposing, decapitated alligator removed

City officials remove gator after 3 days; neighbors complain of smell


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After three days, a decapitated, decomposing alligator that was found on the Northside has been picked up.

It was stinking up the roads near West 63rd and North Main streets since Sunday, and the people who live there were hoping someone would do something about it.

The city said picking up wildlife is not typically its job, but after News4Jax alerted officials to the problem, city crews hauled the dead animal away.

The Trout River is about a half a mile from where the gator was found, so some neighbors believe that's how it got to where it ended up. But it remains a mystery how the animal was decapitated.

"I've been here since '99, and I've never in my life, in a residential area, seen a dead alligator," neighbor Pamela Henderson said.

Not only a dead alligator, but a decapitated and partially skinned dead alligator.

"It's been there for three days now," Amber Saults said. "I think they should have taken it when they discovered it."

Instead, the alligator stayed on the side of the road decomposing under the hot, Florida sun.

The CFO of Northside Tire discovered the dead gator Monday morning when he got into work.  

"The concern is the kids that walk by here. It's a health concern," Dick Middlekauff said. "The kids are walking within a few inches of the carcass, and it smells really bad."

Someone tried to mask the smell with dirt, but most of the neighbors said that didn't help.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they thought the Department of Transportation had picked up the gator. But the DOT said it never knew about it.

"I think it's extremely ridiculous. You don't even see a dead cat or dog for that amount of time, and this is an alligator of pretty decent size," Henderson said.

After three days, News4Jax called the city of Jacksonville for answers, and the city agreed to dispose of the body.

According to FWC officials, it is illegal to hunt alligators without a permit, or out of season, so if anyone with any information on who could have killed the gator is asked to call FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922). Cellphone users can also call *FWC or #FWC, depending on their service provider.

For more information, go to www.myFWC.com