Gator found, killed in Jemison area

Published 1:10 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

An alligator was spotted just outside of west Jemison Friday morning, according to Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer. A Chilton County Sheriff’s Department deputy shot and killed the animal as a safety measure after officers were unable to neutralize and relocate it.

It was found on a dirt road near a body of water off of County Road 131 by residents on their way to fish. Fulmer said it was just outside of the JPD jurisdiction.

Those who found the gator immediately called the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department, who quickly arrived to the scene. JPD officers also arrived to the scene to assist the sheriff’s deputies.

911 dispatch received the call about the animal at approximately 5:05 a.m.

Fulmer said it is unknown as to where the reptile, which was roughly nine feet in length and between 300-400 pounds, came from.

Fulmer said officers contacted a Shelby County game warden and member of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources arrived to the scene to assist officers prior to the shooting.

ADCNR Conservation enforcement officer Brad Gavins, from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries division, said the officers made an effort to catch the gator and relocate it, but those attempts failed. A JPD animal control officer administered a tranquilizer, but the animal continued to resist even after nearly half an hour.

“A gator that size, if he’s backed into a corner, he can be dangerous,” Gavins said. “He was difficult to handle.”

He said a captain in the ADCNR office gave the officers the OK to terminate the animal.

Fulmer said his department caught another alligator, that one only four to five feet in length, just a few months ago in the Jemison area. He wants people to be aware that alligators are in the area and to remain cautious.

“As big as it was, it could have been out searching for food,” Fulmer said, indicating that the animal could even attack a small child in any given situation.

If they seen any, they can call 911 or the JPD at 688-4491.