something south Georgia folks see occasionally, but
few have seen one take an adult deer out to lunch.
Actually -- for lunch.
The photographs of this deer-eating alligator were
taken from the air by Terry Jenkins, a U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service District Fire Management Officer.
She was preparing to ignite a prescribed fire at
Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, about 40 miles
south of Savannah, Georgia, on March 4, 2004.
“One advantage of fire work is you get to see that
12-14 footers are common from Santee National
Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina to Coastal South
Carolina to Georgia‚s coast,” said Jenkins. ”It
looks like the alligator population is doing
This one was at least 12-13 feet long. Jenkins said that some bull alligators have a 35-inch girth.
The Service uses a helicopter capable of igniting
controlled burns by dropping flaming fuel-filled ping
pong balls on pre-selected areas. Jenkins works
throughout parts of North Carolina, South Carolina
and Coastal Georgia refuges and fish hatcheries. The
Service uses prescribed fire to improve habitat and
reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
If you‚re a deer hunter, the refuge hosts an archery
hunt on September 15-17, 2004 and a gun hunt
November 19, 2004 (only 150 permits will be
issued). For more information, and to obtain an
application, visit: http://harrisneck.fws.gov/
Applications must be received by August 31, 2004 at
Savannah Coastal Refuges, 1000 Business Center Drive,
Parkway Business Center, Suite 10, Savannah, Georgia,
The alligator will not be charged with hunting deer
out of season, animal cruelty, or any one of several
possible water quality violations. He may, however,
be charged with being one mean gator. If we could
catch him... Or wanted to...