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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 05-18-2006, 12:22 AM   #1
Clay Davenport
Latest Alligator Reports

Deputy's Gunshot Just Makes Alligator Mad
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Another day, another alligator encounter in Florida.

A Pasco County sheriff's deputy fired a rifle shot at a 9-foot alligator that wandered into a yard in a suburban neighborhood Monday, trapping a 75-year-old woman in her home. The .223-caliber round pierced the reptile's head, but didn't slow it down.

Mickey Fagan, a professional gator trapper, caught the gator on a metal hook, taped its mouth shut and wrestled it into his trailer. It was just another day for the trapper, who said he's killed more than 60 alligators since March 18.

Fagan was on the job Tuesday in another Pasco neighborhood, trapping an 11-footer that had ventured near some homes.

Wildlife officials say gator encounters are becoming more common as the state's population grows and drought sends the reptiles in search of wetter places.

Dog In Royal Palm Beach Killed By Alligator

Authorities say a six-foot alligator killed a Yorkie-Maltese mix in Royal Palm Beach.

Michael Rochefort said his dog ran outside his interior design shop Tuesday and straight to a nearby retention pond.

The gator quickly grabbed the dog, Malibu, and swam away. Trappers captured the alligator they believe killed the dog.

They plan to trap two other gators seen in the pond.

Alligator Nuisance Hotline Getting Flooded With Calls

Operators at the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program in Okeechobee are swamped.

Program officials said they logged 225 telephone calls Monday -- more than double the amount of calls answered last year.

Operators are staying late to handle all the calls.

In the past week, three women have been killed by alligators.

Florida residents can call (866) FWC-GATOR to report alligators that are 4 feet or longer and pose a threat to them, their children or their pets.

Bradenton Woman Shoots Alligator

The alligator was only 3 feet long, but a Bradenton woman said she wasn't taking any chances.

When the reptile came into the lanai of her home Saturday and attacked her golden retriever, Candy Frey went and got her gun.

After Frey and her daughter managed to push the gator out of the lanai through the dog door, she blasted away at it four times.

A neighbor called deputies and a wildlife officer was sent to investigate.

Frey said the alligator barely bled from gunshots to its neck and shoulder. The wildlife officer put it back in the lake.

Frey was given a warning citation for hunting without a license.

Autopsy Shows Woman Attacked By Gator Died From Trauma, Drowning

A woman attacked and killed by an alligator while snorkeling in a secluded recreation area in Ocala National Forest died from drowning and multiple blunt-force injuries, according to an autopsy.

Annemarie Campbell, 23, of Paris, Tenn., suffered lacerations on her head, neck and upper torso and suffered multiple rib fractures, Associate Medical Examiner K. Podjaski said Tuesday.

Those with Campbell found her body inside the alligator near Lake George on Sunday and beat the animal until it released the body.

Officials are still trying to locate the reptile they believe to be between 7 and 9-feet long.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission planned to send a Cessna plane over the area where the attack took place. A spotter in the plane will relay anything noteworthy to trappers in a boat.

Campbell's body was one of two found Sunday that authorities said was killed by alligators.

The body of Judy W. Cooper, 43, of Dunedin, was found in a canal 20 miles north of St. Petersburg.

In Sunrise, the body of Yovy Suarez Jimenez, 28, was found May 6. She was attacked by an alligator while jogging near a canal, authorities said.

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