HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Residents bordering a West Houston reservoir say an alligator known to quietly sun itself outside the ponds was apparently run over on a busy road but then its carcass was dismembered by people who wanted its teeth and limbs as souvenirs.
Convenience store owner Sam Manesiya says he spotted the 6-foot gator — known by some as Harvey, others as Al the Gator, according to KHOU11 on the side of the road when he opened his store last Friday. By later that day, he says he saw one woman cutting off one of the alligator’s feet.
Another nearby resident, Juaquin Aguilar, tells Houston television station KHOU11 he was angry as he chased away folks who were pulling out the gator’s teeth and cutting off limbs.
“It makes me mad because it’s disrespectful,” Aguilar said. “The game wardens have a special place in jail for those people.”
Dismembering a dead animal is a Class C misdemeanor in Texas, according to Texas Game Wardens, which is punishable up to a $500 fine. Alligators in the U.S. are also a federally protected species.
“It saddens me she’s gone,” Aguilar told KHOU11. “Gators are magnificent creatures. I love all animals no matter what they are.”