Chesterton Tribune

Dead alligator pulled from Kankakee River in Starke County

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Two fishermen pulled something unexpected from the Kankakee River in Starke County on Sunday.

A dead alligator.

Indiana Conservation Officer Keith Wildeman was contacted by Jeff Brewer and his father Steve Brewer after they discovered the gator stuck in a logjam two miles downstream from the English Lake public access site.

The Brewers had just launched their boat and were heading out for the afternoon when Jeff spotted the foot and tail of the alligator poking from the water. Using a landing net, he retrieved the dead gator from the water and returned to the boat launch with the carcass to meet with Officer Wildeman. The alligator measured 4’ 7’’ in length and its mouth had been taped shut.

Officer Wildeman noted that the alligator was partially decomposed and appeared to have been dead for some time. Its taped mouth, Wildeman added, indicates that the gator was likely a pet which outgrew its welcome and was released by its owner unlawfully into the river. “There is no possibility that an alligator can survive Indiana’s winter climate, let alone with its mouth taped shut unable to feed,” Wildeman said.

This alligator’s release is believed to be an isolated incident. Anyone with any information about the gator is urged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers at 1-800-TIP-IDNR.

Under Indiana Code, persons in possession of crocodilians over five feet in length must obtain a permit from the IDNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and must meet strict guidelines and regulations to keep these types of animals in captivity.

Posted 2/27/2012