Alligator killed after eating dog now in taxidermist's hands - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Alligator killed after eating dog now in taxidermist's hands

Posted: Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -

An alligator killed for eating an 80-pound Husky in Jacksonville last week is now in the hands of a taxidermist in Johnston County.

Even though the alligator was killed a week ago, the taxidermist did not see the alligator for the first time until Wednesday because he was on vacation.

"When I got home and looked at first thing this morning, there are a few expletives that come to mind when you see something that large. It's a huge dinosaur-looking animal. It's very big," said Jim Williams, the owner of Eastern Carolina Taxidermy in Smithfield for more than 30 years.

Williams is keeping the alligator in a freezer at 10 degrees until he skins the hide next week. He estimates the 12 foot alligator weighs about 700 lb.

"Alligators, as they grow through their life, when they get 10 foot, they tend to get exponentially fat," said Williams.

After skinning the alligator, he plans to soak the hide in a special preservative chemical, then attach and sew it onto a mold. The whole process will take about 6 months he said, given the backlog of other mounts he has to do.

The meat will be sent back to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission so they can learn more about the alligator, including how much of the Siberian husky still remains in its stomach, and how old the alligator was.

The reptile will one day be on display at the Onslow County Environmental Education Center and Library on NC Highway 210 in Sneads Ferry. The facility is still under construction and is expected to open by November or December.

The nearly 12,000 square foot facility will have one central exhibit, a walking trail outside, and an outdoor classroom, said Onslow County spokesperson Lisa Whitman-Grice.

The county hopes the alligator will teach visitors the importance of respecting an animal's boundaries.

"If we see these animals and can learn from them, then that makes it all that more important to care for them," said Whitman-Grice.

Williams estimates the cost of mounting the alligator to be about $5,000.

-- Previous story --

An alligator believed to have attacked a dog has been recovered by authorities.

Jacksonville police shot the gator three times with a high powered rifle, said deputy chief Patrick Traitor of JPD. Its body resurfaced Wednesday afternoon and has been recovered. Officials asked that the body be put on display.

NC Wildlife officials determined it was not safe to relocate the alligator.

Officers 9 On Your Side spoke with say it's unfortunate authorities had to shoot the animal, but they felt he posed a risk to citizens.

NC Wildlife officials said they found the apparent remains of the dog within the alligator.

The alligator attacked an 80 pound Husky at the Mill Creek Green portion of Henderson Green at Henderson Drive and River Street on Tuesday night around dusk. The woman walking the dog wasn't hurt.

"I'm not surprised because I live in apartments just across the road and my landlord says there are gators in the water and I always see kids and their parents by the water," said Jacksonville resident Jennifer Simmons.

City officials said the incident reinforces that residents should not feed wild animals, including alligators and ducks.

They also advised that residents should keep their pets on leashes and keep children and pets away from the water, especially at dawn and dusk.

--- Original Story ---

An American alligator ate an 80 pound Husky dog in Jacksonville.

Police and animal control officers are searching for and trying to capture the alligator.

This all happened Tuesday night on River Street and Henderson Drive near Mill Creek.

Authorities say people in the area need to refrain from feeding wild animals including ducks. This is because the alligators feed on the ducks.

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