The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission continued to investigate this week the legality of the taking of as many as two alligators from Lake Wimico.
Lt. Stan Kirkland said Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing and the agency will release full details as the investigation comes to a conclusion.
“We’ve got some people working on it,” Kirkland said.
The event occurred sometime in the past three weeks to a month, Kirkland said.
“We are taking this seriously,” Kirkland said.
The complaint is focused on whether and how the gators were taken.
The recreational season for alligator harvest – for which the state issues more than 3,000 permits annually, Kirkland said – was not open when the event occurred, Kirkland said.
Kirkland said some private entities are issued permits to take gators. The investigation is focused at least in part on whether a private permit was used to take the gators impermissibly.
The investigation, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation or who have spoken with investigators, appears to be related to a recent trip taken on Lake Wimico by several county-paid individuals during non-work time.
One of those was the county attorney; another a county commissioner.
Kirkland could not comment on the subjects of the investigation.
In a separate occurrence that Kirkland labeled “interesting”, the county wrote a letter to FWC officials last Wednesday, after the investigation was initiated, requesting the FWC remove all its boats and trailers from county property, citing space issues.
When asked if Kirkland was familiar with any similar request from a county government during his long with the FWC, Kirkland replied, “No.”
Kirkland said the agency removed all its boats from county property last Friday.