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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
Letter of the Day

Mourning the killing of two Florida ‘grandfathers’

Published:

Regarding “12-foot gator tied to tree behind apartment complex” (Oct. 24):

Why is it necessary to continue to glorify yet another “wildlife assassin” in the senseless killing of Florida alligators?

In less than one month, two grandfathers of the species have been taken from our local waters without justification. The first was taken illegally in St. Petersburg from a preserve by a “hunter” who deserves no mention and was untrained enough not to know to read the license for which he had applied. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission employee who was hired to protect the species also apparently was without proper training, either, and both most likely won’t be held responsible for their actions.

Now in Tampa, we have another professional senselessly terminating the existence of another beautiful creature.

Between these two animals, there was a combined lifespan of approximately 100 years. Yet they were removed for no reason except for the fact that they were there, or possibly to stroke the ego of those who wanted to see their smiling faces splashed all over the media.

To attain their lengths, these gators have existed among us for five decades, and apparently until now, without any threat to the populace. However, they were labeled a “nuisance,” which to one of these trappers means tethered to a tree.

As an alternative to extinguishing its life, how about cutting the cord? If it hadn’t been a threat before, I doubt it would’ve sought revenge and terrorized humanity. I guess the only option is to “man up” and shoot a defenseless native tied to the shore. No Tarzan genes here!

The gator in St. Pete, “Big Al,” should never have been harassed. The unnamed victim in Tampa, we’ll call “Unjust,” at least warranted relocation in this circumstance. These situations should be addressed on a one-to-one basis before execution is carried out. Maybe a little more training in humanity before fulfilling a death warrant is called for.

I’m tired of the trophy hunters.

Gregg M. Jorissen

Tampa

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