BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — An alligator residing in a Florida neighborhood has had its mouth taped shut since December, according to one resident. Lumsden Reserve resident Amber Lock, who shared photos of the alligator with NEWS10’s affiliate station in Florida, called the actions “inhumane.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Lock said, nobody had visited her neighborhood’s retention pond to capture the reptile and relieve it of the conditions. She said she thinks its mouth was taped shut when a trapper attempted to remove the alligator, but it’s unclear why the animal was left there.
A spokesperson with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission explained that the delay was due to “confusion caused by two different permit requests made to two different trappers by members of the public.”
She said a trapper went to the location on February 11 and saw the gator, but it disappeared from view anytime anyone came close to the water. A new permit was issued on February 12. The spokeswoman said the agency planned to send a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to the location to remove it from the area.
But how is the animal surviving? According to the FWC, alligators are “opportunistic feeders,” meaning they will eat nearly anything they can capture. However, being that gators are cold-blooded, they do not need to eat often: They typically eat once a week, but can survive up to two to three years without food.