Quantcast

Huge alligator that ate 80-pound dog under the microscope - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Huge alligator that ate 80-pound dog under the microscope

Posted: Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - A huge alligator that ate an 80-pound dog in Jacksonville this summer is under the microscope.

And 9 On Your Side is the only news team that got an up close look at what's next for the reptile.

What was once a giant, dog-eating reptile is now little more than skin and bones. Jacksonville police killed the gator, but now its body is being put to good use.

Biologists are interested in the science.

"There's a lot of folks who don't realize we have alligators in North Carolina, and a lot of folks who don't realize how big they can get in North Carolina. This is a prime example," said Jon Shaw, a district biologist with the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Shaw extracted a leg bone from the alligator after it died July 24. He says you can determine the age by cutting the bone open and counting the growth rings.

"It will give us a minimum age estimate,” he said. “My guess is this alligator is at least 40 years old."

Police hunted the alligator down and shot it to death, after it ate an 80 pound Siberian Husky on Henderson Drive.

The dog's owners were playing with their pet when it went for a drink and the alligator attacked.

"Problem is, when a gator becomes in a populated area and grows so big, there's apt to be an encounter," said Jim Williams, taxidermist.

Williams will mount the alligator for display eventually at the Environmental Education Center in Sneads Ferry. He's got the hide covered in salt as a preservative.

He sent the skull to a fiberglass company in Minnesota so they can make a mold of its head.

"The skin still has to be tanned, but there's no need for us to go any further with it. The museum is still under construction," said Williams.

The Environmental Education Center won't be ready till after late fall or early winter.

"It's going to be part of an introductory area that talks about flora and fauna," said Lisa Whitman-Grice, Onslow County spokesperson.

Deedee Vialva is looking forward to it. She owns a beauty salon near where the alligator attacked.

"I would definitely take my children there, so I can be like, 'That's the alligator that they caught that day,'" she said.

Shaw says figuring out the alligator's age will help biologists learn why North Carolina alligators grow slower than those in other southern states.

Vialva says she's sad the alligator had to go, but in a way, it'll continue to live on at the museum.

That gator is 12-feet, 4-inches long and weighs 540-pounds.
     
The district biologist says out of the 60 or 70 encounters he's seen this year, this is the only one where the alligator had to be killed.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • ECU hosts N.C. Central in 2014 season opener

    ECU hosts N.C. Central in 2014 season opener

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:16 PM EDT2014-08-30 18:16:37 GMT
    East Carolina, which has made bowl appearances in seven of the last eight seasons, will open the new campaign under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill when the Pirates battle North Carolina Central in a non-conference matchup at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
    East Carolina, which has made bowl appearances in seven of the last eight seasons, will open the new campaign under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill when the Pirates battle North Carolina Central in a non-conference matchup at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
  • Two men shot, injured at Farmville Labor Day party

    Two men shot, injured at Farmville Labor Day party

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:15:17 GMT
    Two men were shot and injured at a house party in Farmville early Saturday morning.
    Two men were shot and injured at a house party in Farmville early Saturday morning.
  • Coal ash lawsuit plans

    Coal ash lawsuit plans

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:39:24 GMT
    The state environmental department clears the way for advocacy groups to sue Duke Energy over potential coal ash groundwater pollution in the Neuse River.  
    The state environmental department clears the way for advocacy groups to sue Duke Energy over potential coal ash groundwater pollution in the Neuse River.  
  • Most Recent SlideshowsMore>>

  • A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    A flavor out of favor: Dog meat fades in S. Korea

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:33 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:33:30 GMT
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
    For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat.
  • Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Southern California gets more waves as storm eases

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-29 04:02:20 GMT
    Southern California is seeing the kind of epic surf usually associated with Hawaii or Tahiti. Beaches are thronged with wave riders and crowds are coming to watch the action even as seaside communities try to stave...
    High surf generated by a former hurricane in the eastern Pacific rolled onto Southern California beaches again Thursday, showing signs of diminishing but still bringing warnings of possible property damage and dangerous...
  • Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Woman unearths past of forgotten Indian cemetery

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:09:08 GMT
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the...
    A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history...
Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.