Two fishermen pulled something unexpected from the Kankakee River in Starke
County on Sunday.
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.
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.
release is believed to be an isolated incident. Anyone with any information
about the gator is urged to contact Indiana Conservation Officers at
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