Alligator found shot at Hilton Head gated community Wednesday sparks violen…

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A dead alligator found shot on private property in Hilton Head Plantation was collected by Critter Management Wednesday, according to the community’s general manager Peter Kristian.

“We did come by an alligator, I think yesterday, that was shot,” he said. “It had to be shot in a different location. We run across this every once in a while.”

He said Wednesday’s gator was the second found shot on the property in “a number of years.” He said social media claims that the gator was the seventh found shot in 2022 were “false” and “unsubstantiated.”

“Gunshots are something my residents let me know about night or day,” Kristian said. “We have 4,250 homes and very little goes on without somebody noticing or hearing something. We had no reports of gunfire anywhere on the property, and I’m not saying it didn’t happen on Hilton Head Plantation, but probably highly unlikely.”

In September, an alligator had to be removed from Hilton Head Plantation after it attacked a woman while she was walking her dog near a lagoon. The water was next to the woman’s backyard on Rookery Way. It was her daily routine to walk her dog in that area, according to previous Island Packet reporting. Neighbors came outside and beat the 8-foot gator on the snout with a shovel and were able to free the woman who was later transported to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah for injuries to her leg. The woman’s dog was not hurt in the incident.

“That was a situation where obviously someone was feeding that gator and it became aggressive and then we hired an agency to come in and remove the gator,” Kristian said.

The alligator in the September attack was euthanized.

Alligator safety

Mating season for the American Alligator season typically runs from late March until June, meaning residents and tourists will more than likely see males meandering through lagoons to meet potential mates. While alligator and human interactions are rare, they seem to occur more frequently in Beaufort County with increased development.

For safety, S.C. Department of Natural Resources stresses that people should not feed alligators, which is illegal in the state. Once an alligator is fed, they tend to associate people with food and become aggressive.

Keep at least 60 feet between yourself and the animal, and stay away from nests because they are more likely to lunge at you if you’re near their young.

SCDNR experts say to run away straight and fast from alligators because they usually don’t chase very far. It is a misconception that people should run in a zig-zag patter away from alligators.

For those who wish to report an alligator in Beaufort, Colleton and Hampton counties, call a DNR wildlife biologist at 803-625-3569.