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Florida wildlife authorities are investigating the decapitation of a 10-foot adult alligator.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials responded to a report on the alligator found near State Road 62 in Manatee County. The alligator had clearly decomposed when it was found.
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FWC officials are now investigating what happened to the alligator, FOX reported 13 News.
“We thought the worst,” said Heather Morneau, who found the alligator’s body. “We thought someone had chopped off his head. We were trying to find out if someone would.”
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According to Newsweek, Morneau also said it looked like the animal’s body had bullet holes.
FWC said if someone killed the alligator without a license or took its head as a trophy, it could face prosecution.
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Florida allows a nationwide harvest from August 15 to November 1 of each year – as long as the hunter has permission; Otherwise, the hunter faces a third-degree crime charge, the WFLA reported.
Another possible charge would be dumping rubble over 15 pounds, which is a first degree, and possession of parts without authorization.
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The FWC has asked anyone with information about the incident to call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.