Oct 05, 2012

Proposed Alligator Hunting at Loxahatchee NWR Produces Controversy

WPTV.com recently reported on a public hearing in West Palm Beach regarding a plan to allow alligator hunting at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida:

About 100 people showed up to give opinions on a proposal by the refuge to issue 11 permits in 2013 for hunters to kill two of the giant reptiles each, for a total of 22 dead, with an increase planned if all goes well. Among the methods are snares, gigs, harpoons, spearguns, crossbows and bangsticks. From a show of hands, supporters of the alligator hunt appeared to outnumber opponents by about 2 to 1.

Proponents of hunting argue that harvesting the alligators will help keep their growing population in check and continue an outdoor tradition, while opponents argue hunting is cruel, will be disturbing to visitors, and is not in the spirit of a true “wildlife refuge.”

Sylvia Pelizza, manager of the refuge, said an analysis of the alligator population found it to be strong and abundant.

“It was determined that we have a harvestable population,” she said. A decision is expected in November.

More information about the hunt can be found on the home page for Loxahatchee NWR.

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