MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Fish & Wildlife officials are trying to find out who captured and tied an alligator to a tree in southwest Miami-Dade.
Authorities were called out to a residential area Thursday morning. When they arrived, they found a 9-foot gator tied to a tree with his mouth taped shut. It’s believed more than one person may have captured the gator because it’s so massive.
The gator’s mouth was taped incorrectly, an official with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission said. The person or people behind the act could face criminal charges.
Chopper4 was over the scene at 6901 SW 116th Court around noon where the gator could be seen struggling to free himself and at some points, just staying still.
“They thought the gator was posing a threat to the animals and humans. I can see that, but it’s not their job to tape it up,” said Eric, who lives in the neighborhood.
Residents of the Snapper Village Condominiums on Sunset Drive and 117th Avenue said they’ve seen gators in the area before. There are even warning signs up.
“We live in Florida. It’s a hotbed for alligators. They’ve been here since prehistoric times and they are going to stay for a long time,” said Lorenzo Veloz with FWC.
Residents said this alligator has been feeding on small animals in the neighborhood. They’re glad it was caught.
The gator is being taken to a sanctuary and will be treated for some artificial wounds and will then be released back into the wild.
The person who tied of the gator may be charged, but FWC said they have no idea where the call originated or have any leads on who did it.
“We’ve looked around, tried to get some information to find who was behind this, but no one would speak and no one could tell us who did this unfortunately,” said Veloz.
Anyone with information is urged to call authorities.