Springs alligator apparently killed

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By Johnathan Ryan

An alligator that was living at Springs Global Grace Plant's reservoir has been killed, some local residents say.

The Lancaster News has received a number of calls and e-mails indicating that the alligator was killed by a contractor hired by the company. The paper published an article about an alligator living in the reservoir on Nov. 23.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologist Willie Simmons said Tuesday that Springs Global applied for and received a permit from the state's alligator-control program to kill the alligator or hire someone to do so. The permit was good between Oct. 16 and Dec. 3.

"This was a program started two years ago to help landowners deal with nuisance alligators," Simmons said.

Simmons said the alligator probably got to the reservoir by someone who picked it up when the alligator was "young and cute."

Alligators are native to Lowcountry and swampy areas of the state, but not this area.

The state sometimes grants permits to kill alligators when "someone calls and feels an alligator will cause some problems," Simmons said.

A Springs Global executive, who confirmed there was an alligator at the Grace reservoir last month, did not return calls when later asked if the alligator had been killed.

Some area residents told the newspaper that the alligator was killed by contractors hired by the company.

Some people said Springs tried to find an appropriate relocation spot for the alligator, but no one wanted it.

Simmons said relocating an alligator in South Carolina is hard because Lowcountry and coastal areas are overpopulated with alligators.

South Carolina does not have an alligator refuge to support an abundant population, Simmons said.

Contact Johnathan Ryan

at 416-8416

or jryan@thelancasternews.com