Daytona police had hoped the 10-foot alligator that found its way into a retention pool could just be trapped and relocated, but they were forced to shoot it when it became very aggressive.
Police were called to the retention pond in the 1000 block of George W. Engram Boulevard where the alligator had made his home because of a report the animal had became very aggressive toward children who were “poking it with a stick.” It also took a serious dislike to the police officers.
The pond is located in a fenced residential area and is dotted with smaller waterholes where children regularly sneak in through holes in the fence to play, reports WESH.com.. Officials were also concerned that the gator might avoid capture and reappear somewhere else where it could further endanger public safety.
The officers soon learned that a Florida Fish & Wildlife trapper they requested could not be there for two hours and the trapper said the alligator would be killed anyway because it was over five-feet long. He also advised that, since it had lost its fear of humans, it was too dangerous to be left alive.
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The Daytona Police sergeant who was called decided that the best course of action was to shoot the alligator because of its agitated behavior and the immediate necessity to protect the children and the public.
The police report says the sergeant pointed his M-16 and fired once at the gator’s head from about 10 feet away as it swam “very aggressively” towards them, then fired 2 more shots between the gator’s eyes as it thrashed around in the water. A tow truck helped remove the body.
Residents in the area watched and expressed relief that the police officer had taken action to protect the community. They said they had been complaining that they were afraid a child would be hurt.