Dead gator causing smelly situation in Florida woman's backyard

Posted at 6:58 PM, Apr 04, 2018

A Florida woman is desperate to resolve a smelly situation. No one will remove the 9-foot dead gator out of her Loxahatchee backyard

This story has all the ingredients for "Only in Florida."  

A homeowner in Loxahatchee said she found a dead gator on her property on Friday, and the smell is overwhelming. Her husband first noticed it while mowing the lawn days ago, and she is still at a loss with what to do next. 

Stacey Rutherford can barely uncover her mouth long enough to describe the stench of a dead alligator in the canal on her property. 

"It’s gross. It’s gross I just want it gone," she said. "You can't make it up!"

Rutherford called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help and she said they told her to "climb in there and poke it with a stick!"

The recommendation to sink it actually stunned her.

"Ummmmm I told them that I would not be poking it," she said. 

FWC said every circumstance is different, but officers don't come to pick up decomposing carcasses. Adding that the alligator nuisance hotline will give suggestions on how to let the gas out of the gator, but ultimately, it's the homeowner's responsibility to do that. The other option...simply wait it out. 

Rutherford said she asked FWC if she could shoot it instead of going in the water. 

"If she were to shoot it, that's like poking a hole into the belly, which may help release the gases and let it sink,  but she would have to consult with law enforcement to make sure she is not breaking any laws getting into trouble," said wildlife expert David Hitzig 

Neighbors said the stench is unbearable. 

"You forget and then you get that big strong whiff," said Raymond Velloza, who lives across the street from where the gator is.  

Rutherford says bottom line she can't take the smell any more. 

"I’m begging for somebody to help. I mean, I’ve called everybody," she said. "Nature should take it’s course in somebody else’s backyard, not mine."

Options are limited in this type of situation. You can call the alligator nuisance hotline for advice, hire a private, licensed company to remove it or unfortunately wait until the stench subsides.