Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say 17 alligators escaped from an alligator farm in Hernando in Citrus County. FWC Investigator, Jim Smith, received a call from the local nuisance-alligator trapper saying his agent had captured eighy 4-to-6-foot alligators over four days in a housing development with no nearby natural water sources. The farmer, Albert J. Spiegel, had recently acquired an alligator farm license. Fish and Wildlife officials found one alligator dead from being struck by a vehicle. Eight of the farm’s 17-gators still remain unaccounted for. Spiegel voluntarily surrendered his alligator farm license to FWC investigators.
Alachua County Animal Services has been working to improve the release rate of the animals in their care; however, with cats reproducing throughout the year, an increase in the population of animals at the shleter has occured.