Florida: Stalking the Wild Alligator

Stalking the Wild Alligator

Protected from hunters since 1962, Florida alligators have made a comeback from near extinction to a population of more than a million. They became a kind of state mascot, fed by tourists and fussed over by residents -- until last week, when a ten-foot bull gator lurched out of a lake near Sarasota and dragged off four-year-old Erin Glover. When law-enforcement officers caught up with the creature six hours later, they found the dead girl still clamped in its jaws.

Overnight the five regional offices of the Florida game and freshwater-fish commission were inundated with demands for alligator annihilation. Legally sanctioned...

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