An alligator in Florida had to be euthanized after it was found with a knife in its head, according to officials.
The alligator – which was four feet, nine inches long – was reportedly seen swimming in a pond in Deltona, Florida, on Sunday, July 31, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rep told Fox News Digital in an email.
An alligator trapper caught the reptile, officials said.
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“Due to the injury to its head, it was humanely euthanized,” the rep said.
The Florida FWC is investigating how the alligator was injured.
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It is illegal to “intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture or attempt to kill, injure, possess or capture an alligator,” unless given special authority, according to Florida law.
The Florida FWC is asking anyone with information about the alligator to come forward.
On July 29, the FWC posted alligator safety tips on Facebook.
“If you see an alligator, keep a safe distance and make sure pets are on a leash and away from the water’s edge,” the FWC wrote, in part.
“Also, never feed an alligator,” the agency added. “It’s illegal and dangerous. When fed, alligators can lose their natural wariness and begin to associate people with the availability of food. This can lead to dangerous circumstances for you and other people who encounter that alligator in the future.”
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