Sometimes, it’s the prerogative of a blog owner to offer up a discussion about some situation that’s generating a ton of buzz elsewhere. I don’t do it often, but I have on a couple occasions.
I came across a news story that I felt worthy of some discussion. In this case, I’m sure there are some folks that would strongly agree with me, and many others who would just as strongly disagree with me. Which is fine.
The story in question is about a woman that caught a 900 pound alligator in South Carolina. This lady is basking in the glory of conquering the mammoth beast, as can be seen in this video on Carolina Live.
According to the story, the lady went out for the purpose of hunting an alligator. This wasn’t self-defense – she was looking to kill an alligator for sport.
Anyway, she apparently hooked the beast, and struggled for 2 hours to get it near the boat. Once it’s head came above water, she shot it. Not once. Not twice. But eight times.
That wasn’t it. The gator was still moving, so she and her group then stabbed it a couple of times to sever the creature’s spinal cord.
Then, the animal was killed. Does this really seem like a good time!?
Check out the video. The way she talks about it, there is excitement radiated by her over the killing of the gator. Was it apparently fun to notice this creature, then make it fight for it’s life for 2 hours, before shooting it 8 times and stabbing it multiple times to finish the job? She even laughs when mentioning how they stabbed it to go after the spinal cord.
Now, I realize that alligators are dangerous predators, that can easily kill a human if they so desired. I’m not opposed to having an alligator disposed of if it poses threat to proximate human populations. If I saw one nearby, I wouldn’t feel the least bit sorry about it being eliminating it as quickly as possible, in order to save people.
That said, I don’t see why it’s necessary to go out of one’s way to torture and kill one, all in the name of “sport”. As I said up front, I realize that some folks will think I just don’t get it, I’m soft, or something of the like. Fine.
From a financial point of view, I find this to be ridiculous as well. I did some quick research, and it appears that the permits/fees alone cost the following:
- $10 application fee
- $100 alligator hunting permit fee (if lucky enough to be selected)
- $200 non-resident fee
So, that’s $320 to have the privilege of being able to try to kill an alligator for fun.
On top of that, if you’re coming from out of state, surely you have some travel expenses, right? This person came from Massachusetts, which is not exactly a day trip. From Boston, MA to Columbia, SC, is about 800 miles. At 25 miles per gallon, that’s 32 gallons. At $3 per gallon, you’re at $96 – let’s say nearly $100 in gas each way. Round trip, perhaps we’re talking close to $200, without taking into consideration wear and tear.
When you factor in equipment, lodging, etc – the costs go up even more. Adding to it the cost of “processing” the dead alligator to recover some meat, getting it stuffed to show off later, etc – the costs go up way more one would think.
Maybe it’s over $1,000? More? Less? I don’t have the answer, but it’s clearly possible that this isn’t a cheap trip.
What else could one do with that money? Take a great, relaxing vacation somewhere else, perhaps? Or, maybe enjoy the outdoors some other way, such as hiking, kayaking, boating, etc. Or – get this – maybe save the money. Here’s another novel idea: give some of the money to charity.
Nah, there’s no better use of that money – or time – than to go traveling in order to get an alligator.
Cue the eye roll, please! To each their own, and I’m not questioning anything about the people who took the trip. It’s just that I happen to have different interests, it seems.