Gator Poachers Accused of Forty-Four Felonies in Largest FWC Sting to Date
In a lengthy exposé, Rene Ebersole writes for National Geographic about an ongoing case regarding alligator poaching. Nine men stand accused of forty-four felonies, "ranging from the possession and killing of a protected wildlife species to falsifying official records, stealing, and racketeering." The story provides significant background about alligator populations over the course of modern Florida history including when and why alligators were listed on the Endangered Species list before removal in 1988 and also discusses current lawful hunting and trading practices complying with state, federal, and international law. But the men stand accused of flouting the regulations and exploiting a loophole in an effort to rake in extra cash. Judicial proceedings are expected to commence in 2018; because of the ongoing nature of the case the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has not issued any comment.
For more information, see:
Rene Ebserole, National Geographic, "Florida Opened a Fake Alligator Farm to Catch Poachers," Nov. 15, 2017, https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/wildlife-watch-alligator-hunting-investigation-florida/