Alligator wranglers removed two gators from Hilton Head Island during the past three days -- one that ate a large dog and another because it had a flying disc around its head.
On Labor Day, an alligator was removed from the Long Cove Club gated community at about 8 p.m. after it devoured the dog, S.C. Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Dean Harrigal said. Critter Management wrangler Joe Maffo caught the 9-foot alligator, which he estimated weighed between 500 and 600 pounds.
The alligator had eaten a boxer that weighed nearly 90 pounds, he said.
Maffo said he turned the alligator over to a DNR trapper because the community did not have the tags that would allow him to remove the gator. He retrieved the dog's remains, which were cremated at the family's request, he said.
On Wednesday, Maffo removed another 9-foot alligator from Shipyard Plantation after a vacationer discovered the gator had a flying ring disc stuck around its head.
Kathleen Diesman, on vacation from Kentucky, first saw the gator stuck in the ring at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. A relative called plantation security, which notified Maffo, Diesman said.
Maffo said the disc, which was stuck behind the ridges on the back of the gator's head, might have been placed there by someone.
"The gator would never try to put something tight over its face," Maffo said.
Diesman said the ring didn't seem to bother the alligator, but Maffo said it could cause it distress.
Maffo was unable to get the alligator out of the water Tuesday, but caught it at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Both gators caught will be harvested. Maffo said the one caught Wednesday had grown too large to be returned to the water.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.
- 12-foot alligator walks out of Hilton Head surf, July 14, 2014