Reward offered after alligators found with tape over snout and eyes in Wekiva

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Residents in Seminole County are outraged after a couple found an alligator with its snout bound shut and its eyes covered with duct tape in the Wekiva area.

A $1,500 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

Jack and Barbara Thornton, who discovered the gator, offered $500 to find the animal abuser, then Gatorland heard about what happened and increased the reward by $1,000.

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They also learned this was not the first time a gator had been found duct-taped.

Jack Thornton said he and his wife were walking along the banks of the Sweetwater canal when they noticed a 7-foot alligator floating on top of the water.

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Its head and eyes were wrapped and covered with duct tape.

The Thorntons called Florida’s Fish and Wildlife, and a wildlife officer came out to rescue the gator from the water. That’s when they noticed its hind limbs were duct taped too.

According to Florida law, it is a third-degree felony to intentionally kill, injure, possess or capture an alligator.

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If you have any information about this attack on the alligators in Wekiva can contact FWC at 863-648-3200.

Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich,

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.