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.
Members of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies are working to determine if a recent influx of Kemp’s ridley sea turtle deaths in Mississippi are linked to the 2010 BP oil spill.