Men charged with killing alligator in Polk County

Updated:

POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Authorities say two men illegally killed an alligator near a Central Florida mall.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office reports that 41-year-old Rodney Duane Michael and 28-year-old Dustin Lee Moore used chicken Thursday afternoon to lure a 9 1/2-foot alligator out of a retention pond at Eagle Ridge Mall. Then they shot the alligator with a .22-caliber rifle.

The men fled after being confronted by mall security guards, who contacted the sheriff's office. Detectives tracked the men down, and officials say the admitted to killing the alligator.

The men were arrested and charged with one count each of unlawful killing of an alligator.