Poachers Carry Out Over 200 Alligator Hatchlings

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State wildlife officer David Straub was at Florida Lake Apopka Wednesday night when he noticed an airboat at about 10 pm - it was shining a light on the far shore. Straub stayed and kept an eye on the airboat for 6 hours. When the airboat returned, one of the men from the boat carried a sack up to a parked pick up truck.

Straub went over and identified himself, and said he was doing a routine inspection. The man, identified as Robert "Bo" Duval, said "You have got me and I have a lot of alligator hatchlings." Straub found, in two cloth bags, 260 recent alligator hatchlings. Straub seized the truck, trailer, and the boat, and took pictures of the alligators. Duval was with Christopher Scroggins, both are from Bushnell, Florida. The alligators were released alive back into the lake. Duval and Scroggins were taken to jail.

Illegal possession of hatchlings is a third-degree felony that carries a possible $5,000 fine and five years in prison. Duval and Scroggins posted bail. Duval faces more charges, of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition, as there were firearms hidden under vegetation on the airboat. An unidentified woman who helped the duo at the boat ramp may face charges as well. From The Orlando Sentinel.


hunter25's picture

There's a poacher for

There's a poacher for everything I guess. I was wondering what the market or use for them would be but I gues it's quite a bit more than I expected. I know even here in Colorado we have had some fairly large ones found in some of the canals dead after people abandoned them. Once again the risk of losing your truck boat and everyhting else is just not worth it.

But I guess guys like most of us here just can't think the way these people do.

niceshot_smitty's picture

I think they should do more

I think they should do more time then what they are facing and a big fine.  Hell just through them to the gators and let them do the jugding

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Wow, that could have been

Wow, that could have been alot of belts or handbags!  Glad to see the guy was stopped!

Hopefully he'll get a good fine and some jail time on top of losing all of his posessions, but the best thing probably would have been if mama alligator had found him in her nest. Wink

He's losing his truck, boat, guns, adn a couple of others facing charges.  Great work by the wildlife officer!

Retired2hunt's picture

Honor the Law!

Most likely they were going to sell them to pet stores or sell themselves through dot.com sites. A single alligator hatchling sells for around $85. Doing the math they would have made $22,000 if they could sell them all. If it isn't ignorance it is money that drives a person to illegal activities. Dad taught me different.


deerhunter30's picture

It is just nice to see that

It is just nice to see that these people were caught and will face the cosequenses. I really do not understand why people would do something like that with so much at stake. I hope these people get the highest punishment there is and maybe they will learn there lesson.

It is to bad that the momma alligator wasn't around when they were rummaging through the nest.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

I guess I just do not giet

I guess I just do not giet this type of action.  Is there a big market for alligator hatchlings.  I guess maybe if you are selling them to a private party some where, but what are you gonna do with almost 300 of them.  Just does not make sense to me why people go thru so much trouble for stuff like this.  Guuess I just do not possess that gen in my DNA.