A carcass of a 6.5-foot alligator was found floating Wednesday near the boat ramp at the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge around mile marker 40 of U.S. 1 bayside, and state marine officers say it likely wasn't a natural death.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recovered the alligator from the water, took measurements and disposed of the carcass.
The animal "was found very close to a set of parking spaces by the boat ramp. Based on evidence located at the scene, it is likely that a vehicle backed up in this parking area and dumped the carcass into the water," the FWC said in a prepared statement.
The American alligator is federally protected but eligible for state-approved management and control programs. Alligators can be legally taken only by people with proper licenses and permits.
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The FWC asks anyone who has information about the death of the alligator to call the FWC at (888) 404-3922.