SEBASTIAN INLET — A 9-foot alligator was struck by a car and maimed late on July 13 on Highway A-1-A just south of Sebastian Inlet. Just before 11 p.m., the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an alligator (originally estimated to be 6-feet long by the caller) that had been hit by a car while the gator was attempting to cross the road. Since the alligator was still alive and in the way of oncoming traffic, IRSO requested assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP). The incident was then turned over to the jurisdiction of the FWC, according to Jeff Luther, public information officer for the IRSO. The law enforcement division of SNAP then called in a licensed trapper at 11:10 p.m. to handle the gator and issued a permit for the animal to be destroyed as a nuisance alligator.The alligator was killed and then processed Tuesday morning, according to Linda Collins, call center supervisor for the SNAP program, headquartered in Okeechobee. Collins said events like these are not uncommon, and that the alligator vs. car accident followed numerous calls from people who seen a large alligator in the surf at the Sebastian Inlet State Park.
“It is quite possible that this is the alligator that was spotted in the surf at Sebastian Inlet last week,” Collins said.We are approaching the peak of active alligator season, when the creatures roam to find food and mating opportunities. According to Collins, season begins in our area in the spring and continues through the end of the summer, as long as temperatures are hot, then subsides in the fall.
So far this year, SNAP officials have received a total of 84 calls from Indian River County residents about nuisance gators. The FWC has issued 64 permits for destruction and 78 alligators have been harvested from our County, including the one on July 13.To report a nuisance alligator, call 1-866-FWC-GATOR (1-866-392-4286). For more information about alligator behavior, go to www.MyFWC.com/gators.