Cat-eating gator trapped, killed in Palm Bay

12:51 PM, May 12, 2011   |    comments
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  • Palm Bay, Florida (FL Today) -- An alligator that killed a neighborhood cat and left residents living near a Palm Bay canal on edge has been captured and killed.

    The alligator had been seen lurking for at least two weeks near a large drainage pipe at the shallow end of a canal that feeds into Turkey Creek and the Indian River Lagoon.

    Previous Story: Cat-eating gator has neighbors on edge
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    Alligators wrangled, hunted around Florida

    Residents in the Palm Bay Estates mobile home park say a nuisance trapper arrived at about 6 p.m. Wednesday and waited for the 8-foot-long creature to come out for a feeding around sundown.

    Robert Geraci Sr., who initially heard the alligator thrashing in the water on Tuesday and saw it with the cat clinched in its jaws, said the trapper quickly roped the alligator.

    "He threw a line in and caught the gator very quickly," Geraci wrote in an e-mail.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued a permit for the trapper after receiving calls from residents in the retirement community.

    The attack on the cat happened at about 7 a.m. Tuesday near the concrete retaining wall of a neighborhood canal. "We gave one of our trappers a permit to go and get it. You have to remember, however, there is nothing unnatural about a gator eating a cat or a heron," said Joy Hill, spokeswoman for the FWC.

    "To the alligator, it's just another something to eat. Cats and dogs are also easy prey. We live in Florida and we have alligators. It's not uncommon."

    Authorities also warn that alligators are also now mating, so the creatures may be more aggressive and curious as they venture out of area lakes and canals.

    J.D. Gallop, Florida Today

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