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Headless alligator draws attention from motorists


April 1, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Updated March 31, 2010 at 11:01 p.m.

The headless body of an eight-foot alligator lies near Bankhead and LaSalle roads in Inez. A woman said she hit and killed the reptile while driving at night. The head was taken days later.

INEZ - A remote county road has become a place of local interest after a headless alligator that was hit and killed Sunday remains near the road.

The eight-foot body was located about a mile from the nearest creek alongside a cornfield near Bankhead and LaSalle roads. Many nearby residents wondered how the animal traveled so far.

"That is a fluke. A big fluke," said Joyce Warzecha, a long-time resident who lives near the area. "I've observed more sight-seers than actual people that travel this road because word of mouth has gotten out that there's a dead alligator on Bankhead Road."

Department of Public Safety troopers were dispatched to the location about 10:30 p.m. Sunday after a woman called and said she'd hit and killed the animal, according to dispatch call records.

The alligator was seen still with its head Tuesday afternoon, but as of Wednesday morning, the body was belly-up and the head was removed.

"When I saw the head gone it just kind of made me sad," said Doris Witte, a nearby resident. "I guess I feel like it should have stayed together until the end."

She said Tuesday night two trucks were seen parked near the body for a short while with their headlights off.

Rex Mayes, district captain of Texas Parks and Wildlife, said it is not unusual to see the animals stray from their habitats in search of food or during mating season.

"We find them in garages in people's backyards. There's no rhyme or reason to it," he said.

Alligators can be legally hunted for 20 days in September when hunters are issued tags for the animals they kill. But possession of alligator parts without a permit is a Class C misdemeanor.

"We don't have an open season for anything on the side of the road," Mayes said.

On Thursday, the headless alligator remained near the road.

Neither Mayes nor animal control have the capabilities to remove the body, but Warzecha hopes something will be done soon.

"In order to avoid the smell, I wish someone would haul it off," she said.

She hopes the headless body will be removed before the weekend when she will host her grandchildren for Easter.



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