ATKINS — The Atkins Bottoms alligator has been shot and killed. The alligator had remained for nearly 10 years without bothering the residents who lived nearby.
“There’s been several people in the community that has watched this alligator for nearly 9 or 10 years,” Jamie Jackson, corporal wildlife officer for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), said. “It hasn’t bothered anybody and it stays in the canal. They’ve liked watching it. It was something that’s rare around here and no one has bothered it.”
Yet on Monday, Jackson received the call that the alligator was lying motionless. The maggots and heat have decayed the six-foot-long alligator, which was last seen alive on Thursday, Aug. 20.
There is not a season for alligator hunting in Pope County.
“With where it’s at, it’s almost impossible to get it out of the area,” Jackson said. “If you see the canal and see how steep it is down there and how grown up it is, you can [just see that the shooting] was just out of meanness.”
The consequences vary depending on the context of the shooting.
The AGFC usually traps and relocates alligators if there is an issue with one. However, the last resort is a depredation permit, according to Jackson.
“There’s several people in the community that I’ve talked to for the past two days and they’re just heartbroken that someone would do this,” he said. “It was part of the community down there.”
If anyone has any information on the shooting, contact the Stop Poaching hotline at 1-800-482-9262. Reporting can be anonymous.