alligators

The Breaux Bridge swamp tour guide that a national animal rights group accused of cruelty to an alligator has been cleared of one charge but admitted to a misdemeanor violation of illegal possession of an alligator.

Chester Cedars, chief prosecutor in St. Martin Parish, tells The Advocate Bryan Champagne was fined $250 plus court costs for the possession charge.

The investigation of Champagne followed a YouTube video that showed him striking the head of an alligator with boat oar while members of a tour watched.

Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn't just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.

"Alligator's such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it's a wonder that alligator isn't our mascot, you know?"

Alligator for Lent

Mar 5, 2013
Maureen McMurray / WWNO

If you live in Southern Louisiana you don’t have to be Catholic to know that the Friday Fish is a New Orleans tradition. From fried catfish to potato salad and savory sides, there are plenty of meatless options for the faithful foodies.

But what if you’re just not in the mood for fish on Friday? Well, there are some less obvious Lenten options in the Crescent City.

Plucky Former Poultry Farmer Goes Wild For Gators

Oct 8, 2012

Just outside of Camilla, Ga. — about four hours southwest of Atlanta — up a dirt road called Alligator Lane, is one of the largest alligator farms in the country.

"We've got about 20 chicken houses, and we've got about 100,000 alligators on the farm," says owner Mark Glass.

That's right, 100,000 alligators, and they are in big demand in Europe's high-fashion industry.

Right now it's hatching season.

State wildlife and fisheries officials have extended the East Zone wild alligator harvest season through Oct. 4.

Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, approved the extension Tuesday.

The scheduled opening of the East Zone season was delayed from Aug. 29 until Sept. 1 due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, which reached hurricane strength before landfall. Resulting flooding and displacement of residents prompted the extension.

It was a huge catch for a Montegut commercial fisherman: a 12-foot-long, 800 pound alligator found in the Intracoastal Waterway at Bourg.

The Courier reports 35-year-old Rob Neil had gone alligator hunting in the waterway Wednesday when he spotted the huge 'gator. He had to shoot the reptile 15 times with a .22-caliber rifle.

Neil said it was the first alligator he ever caught. He sold the gator to Big Al's Seafood restaurant in Houma for $350.

St. Mary Parish sheriff's investigators are looking for three men accused of taking $6,500 and cell phones from alligator buyers in Morgan City.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Traci Landry says three alligator buyers were winding up a day of purchases shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday when a dark gray four-door car arrived. Two passengers, one armed with a gun, got out and ordered the buyers onto the ground. Both wore blue jeans and had blue bandannas over their faces.

State wildlife and fisheries officials are postponing the 2012 wild alligator lottery season on the Pearl River, Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas swamp wildlife management areas because of the effects of Hurricane Isaac.

The season was scheduled to open on Saturday but has since been pushed back to Wednesday, Sept. 12.

All alligator hunters are urged to verify that their selected buyer will be open to buy harvested alligators, prior to beginning any harvest effort.

Alligator hunters are now free to pursue their quarry across the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season opened in the state's West Zone today, following the East Zone opening this past Saturday. However, due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, hunters in some areas may have to wait until floodwaters recede and power is restored, the state said.

Alligator hunters are advised to verify their buyers have opened before actually taking any alligators, and to use extreme caution when hunting in flooded areas.

Tropical Storm Isaac is pushing back the alligator season in southeast Louisiana.

The 30-day season had been scheduled to open Wednesday in the east zone — 13 southeastern parishes and parts of eight others.

But with Isaac expected to make landfall as a hurricane on Tuesday in southeast Louisiana, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries rescheduled that opening to Saturday.

It says alligator season is still scheduled to open Sept. 5 in the rest of Louisiana, though that could change, depending on storm damage and how the East Zone harvest is going.

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