12-foot alligator crawls onto Florida highway, gets run over by semi-truck and has to be put down
The accident left the reptile stunned and enraged, and law enforcement said the animal was walking in circles by the time they arrived
A giant alligator caused traffic chaos after it crawled onto a busy highway in Florida earlier this month, and had to later be put down after a semi-truck ran over it and crushed its skull. According to The Miami Herald, a massive 12-foot, 463-pound alligator wandered onto the I-10 in Tallahassee at around midnight on June 3, resulting in the temporary closure of Monroe Street exits.
The Tallahassee Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol responded to the scene a little after midnight after receiving multiple calls about the reptile, and they were left with little choice but to close the exits for a few hours to keep drivers away.
The precautions they had taken ultimately proved to be ineffective and the gator was injured after its snout was run over by a semi-truck. The incident left it stunned and enraged, and law enforcement said the animal was walking in circles by the time they arrived.
Gator trapper Broderick Vaughan, the owner of Vaughan's Gators, was called to remedy the situation, and he was able to wrap his snare pole around the tired creature, tape its snout shut, and load it into his truck safely using a hoisting machine.
Vaughan said despite its injuries, the gator "wasn't happy we were trying to remove him". He also said that this particular reptile was one of the biggest he had ever come across in his decades in the field.
"I've been the trapper here in Leon County since April 2010 and that was the third biggest gator I've captured," he revealed. "That was a pretty big one and he wasn't happy that we were trying to remove him."
"He had worked his way to the edge of the guardrail by the time I got there and I couldn’t see him right away because the Florida Highway Patrol vehicles were blocking it," he continued. Unfortunately, Vaughan said, the gator's injuries turned out to be more severe than originally presumed because the semi "had crushed its skull pretty good," and that he euthanized the huge reptile the same day because "there was no reason to keep him alive and let him suffer."
This was the third time this year alone that the gator trapper had been called to capture and remove one of the reptiles from a highway. With their mating season in full swing, officials expect the number of nuisance calls to rise as the animals wander into areas that they do not usually frequent.
CNN reported that, under Florida wildlife regulation, any alligator over four feet in length is considered a nuisance and potential threat to people and property, so it cannot be relocated.
In such cases, if new homes can't be found in farms or exhibits, the reptiles are euthanized and sent to processing facilities so their meat can be sold to restaurants or tanned and used for leather products.