SANFORD, Fla. - The alligator that made headlines last week for being spotted with half its mouth missing has been captured, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission confirmed to FOX 35 News.
A contracted nuisance alligator trapper captured the gator on Thursday night and the agency is in the process of transferring it, a spokesperson said. Information about the gator's condition and where it will be transferred to have not yet been made available.
Eustacia Kanter first discovered the alligator on August 29 at Wilson's Landing in Sanford, she told FOX 35 News at the time.
"At first, my brain couldn't comprehend that its entire upper jaw was missing," Kanter told FOX 35 News. "When I realized, I felt terrible for him and snapped as good a photo as I could get with my cell phone standing at a distance so that I could share it and try to find help."
Photo: Eustacia Kanter
She enlisted Bear Warriors United Executive Director Katrina Shadix, who in turn sought assistance from the FWC and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
At the time, the FWC told FOX 35 News that they were investigating the situation.
The licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Kim Titterington, told FOX 35 News it's likely the alligator has been without a snout for some time now, since the injury appears to have scarred and healed.
"It's not recent," she said.
To survive, Titterington said she can only assume the gator has been eating carrion, invertebrates or other slow, small-moving prey to sustain itself.
As far as how the injury came about, she said there are two possibilities: the alligator could have gotten into an entanglement with another alligator or predator, or a snare trap could have caused it.
To report a wildlife violation, call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC, text 847411 with the keyword FWC, or submit a tip online at at MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert. You can also download the FWC Wildlife Alert app.