Discovery of Florida Alligator Impaled with Arrows and Bound With Ropes Leads PETA to Launch $5,000 Reward to Catch Perpetrator

The animal rights organization PETA is offering a reward of up to $5,000 in return for information on the brutal abuse of an alligator.

The animal was found last month, having been impaled through the neck with two arrows and rope wrapped around its head and feet.

PETA is offering the reward to anyone with tips that lead "to the arrest and conviction" of the person or people responsible for the crime.

"Someone shot this alligator twice in the neck, tied the animal up, and left him or her to suffer and die," PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien said in a statement.

"PETA urges anyone with information to come forward immediately so that the abuser can be held accountable and stopped from hurting anyone else."

The incident in question took place on April 28 when law enforcement in Lee County received a call about an alligator that had been discovered in a pond behind a residence in Oak Hill Loop, Fort Myers, Florida. According to reports at the time, the alligator was safely removed by police, and officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) took it to receive treatment.

On April 29, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers announced that they were seeking information on the case in relation to animal cruelty and have asked anyone with tips to contact them at 1-800-780-TIPS.

"We firmly believe that there are people who know exactly what happened to that alligator, and exactly who is responsible for the attack," SWFL Crime Stoppers Manager Trish Routte told Newsweek.

"We find it absolutely reprehensible that someone would attack an endangered species in such a ruthless manner. Had the gator been a threat to anyone (which neighbors say it was not in this case), the proper thing to do would have been to contact FWC to have the experts resolve it."

Crime Stoppers seeking tips on animal cruelty case 🐊

On Wednesday, April 28, 2020, @leesheriff received a call for service regarding a large injured alligator in the pond to the rear of a residence on Oak Hill Loop in Fort Myers.

— SWFL Crime Stoppers (@SWFLCrime8477) April 29, 2020

According to FWC, there are around 1.3 million alligators in Florida, and they can be found in all 67 counties. Alligators in Florida are considered a Species of Special Concern and it is illegal to feed or harass an alligator, according to the University of Florida.

Hunting is not strictly prohibited in the state of Florida, but it is carefully managed and hunters are required to seek out a permit issued by the FWC. According to FWC, the state's alligator hunting season starts on August 15 and ends on November 1.

Members of the public who encounter a "nuisance" alligator are encouraged to contact the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) on their hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

Though Lee County Sheriff's office have recently announced the creation of a new Animal Cruelty Task Force, PETA's statement says the sheriff's office had not received any tips relating to the identity of the attackers as of May 11.

"The important thing we want people to know is that we need people who are in the know about animal abuse to speak out on their behalf," said Routte. "We need to do everything we can to protect them and, when necessary, to remove people from our neighborhoods who have exhibited violence towards animals."

Newsweek has contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for comment.

This article was updated with comment from Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers.

File photo of an alligator. PETA has launched a reward in return for information on the abuse of an alligator in Florida. Getty/Matt Sullivan