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South Carolina Department
of Natural Resources

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Charges issued in Charleston alligator case

April 9, 2019

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources' (SCDNR) Law Enforcement Division has issued tickets to the individual responsible for causing a decapitated alligator carcass to show up near a Shem Creek boat landing in Mount Pleasant. The incident received widespread media attention after pictures of the animal were shared on social media.

SCDNR investigators were able to determine that the alligator carcass was from an animal that had been legally taken by a professional wildlife control operator under a "nuisance alligator" depredation permit issued to a Homeowner's Association (HOA) in the Mount Pleasant area. Such permits require that the animal's remains be disposed of in a legal manner and specifically exclude disposal by placing in public waterways. The depredation permit disposal regulations were updated and strengthened following a 2015 incident in which five alligator carcasses washed up after being disposed of in the Ashley River.

The individual responsible contacted SCDNR voluntarily as a result of seeing the media stories about the carcass, and upon being interviewed by the investigating officer, was forthcoming and cooperative about having disposed of the alligator by putting it in the creek. The individual was written a ticket for littering, as well as a warning ticket for violating the regulations regarding the disposal of alligators taken under the permit program. The case will be handled in Charleston Magistrate's Court.