South Bend Police Department Press Release

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

 

Alligator Shot in St. Joseph River

June 8, 2005

RE: St. Joseph River alligator shot and killed by DNR officer on June 5

South Bend, Indiana— Contrary to reports, South Bend Police Department (SBPD) officers did not shoot the St. Joseph River alligator when spotted near Farmer’s Market in the river on Sunday, June 5. In fact, a conservation officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) determined for several public safety reasons to remove the gator.

According to the incident report, dispatchers received word of the alligator’s location at 7:28 a.m. and officers arrived at the scene and contacted the DNR shortly thereafter. Two DNR officers responded in a boat and proceeded to get closer to the gator.

SBPD Cpl. Dave Modlin stated after the DNR officers assessed the situation, they explained their decision to eliminate the reptile, which was about two and a half feet long.

“Because the alligator had been discovered by other river-goers recently, the DNR was aware of the situation and had considered alternatives such as a capture…but it wasn’t feasible. Also taken into consideration was the willingness of people along the river to try to help capture the gator and officials were concerned someone would end up getting hurt,” explained Modlin.

Modlin added, “We found it tragic that someone was irresponsible enough to abandon the alligator in the river in the first place…it couldn’t survive (the winter) and would have suffered.”

Locally, there are several ordinances referencing reptiles in the Municipal Code for the City of South Bend which prohibit a number of species.

For example, in Article 4., “Wild Animals, Poisonous Reptiles and Attack Dogs,” Sec. 5-22 lists alligators as one of the listed “protected animals” therefore making them “unlawful for any person to possess, offer for sale, buy, attempt to buy, or own within the City.”





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