Man Cited for Illegally Capturing Alligator Found Tied to Trampoline In Northport, Alabama
A 50-year-old Northport man was cited this week for illegally capturing an American alligator that was reportedly found tied with a ratchet strap to a trampoline in his yard.
In new court documents filed Monday afternoon, an officer with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said she received a tip last September that an alligator was being held in captivity at a home on Tropic Drive off Bone Camp Road in Northport.
A few days later, on September 25th, the officer reportedly visited the residence where "in plain view sight, there was an American alligator tied with a rope and a ratchet strap to a trampoline in the front yard."
After the publication of this story, a Northport resident who was able to take a picture of the alligator in captivity submitted the photo to the Tuscaloosa Thread -- check out the creature below.
The officer attempted to talk with the homeowner, but no one was at the residence at the time of her visit.
She then took photos of the captured alligator and reached out to an ADCNR wildlife biologist, who confirmed that the creature was an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) before taking it away from the house and releasing it into the Sipsey River.
The ADCNR officer was eventually able to make contact with the homeowner, who "verbally confessed he had taken the American alligator from a pond near his work and brought it to his place of residence."
The case was forwarded to a grand jury, which ultimately led to the issuance of a warrant citing the man with violating Ala. Admin. Code r. 220-2-.97, which says that except when particularly specified and permitted, "it shall be unlawful to possess, take, capture, or kill, or attempt to possess, take, capture, or kill any alligator, or the skins, meat, eggs, or parts thereof."
The man was never jailed and paid a $500 bond and agreed to appear in court about the captured reptile later this year.
Editor's note: It is the policy of the Tuscaloosa Thread to only identify by name criminal suspects accused of committing felonies. Because the suspect in the case is only charged with a code violation, his name will not be shared here.
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