Rewards rising in gator death

Rewards totaling $3,200 in cash and gift certificates were offered today for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed and dismembered an alligator taken from a pond in Evans.


“It really turned my stomach to read about this,” said Mike Hall, whose company – Hall, Hall & Associates, CPAs – offered to finance a $500 reward. “I’m an avid outdoorsman myself, and I’d really like to see these guys caught.”

In addition to Mr. Hall’s pledge, the Humane Society of the United States offered an additional $2,500 as an incentive for information, said Cheryl McAuliffe, the group’s Georgia director.

Such rewards have been effective in shaking loose clues for animal cruelty cases, she said. “We had a guy in south Georgia who burned some kittens last year,” she said. A $3,000 reward helped spur an arrest.

Also today, the First Saturday Crew – a group that works on cleanup projects along the Augusta Canal – contributed $200 in restaurant certificates to the fund, said spokesman Scott Hudson.

The nine-foot gator had lived in a pond off Washington Road behind Brown Feed & Seed. During the weekend, trespassers killed the gator and used a reciprocating saw to remove its head, tail and two front legs.

Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division is investigating the incident and has asked for the public’s help in solving the crime.

Law Enforcement Sgt. Mark Padgett of the division’s regional office in Thomson, said anyone willing to share information on the case can contact him directly at (706) 737-1480 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The identity of callers willing to provide information will remain confidential, he said, and they can still claim a reward without their name being made public.


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