Across the nation, from bears in Montana, a three legged ‘gator is lurking in a canal behind a meat market in St. Petersburg, Florida. Oh, just in case you want to make sure you have the right 13’ gator, it is the right front leg that is missing.

“Mahmoud Said, 23, owns Tony’s Meat Market, which is in a strip mall in the 1200 block of Fourth Street South, next to the canal where the alligator frequently is seen.  “It’s a big one,” he said. “They’re actually more than one.” On his cell phone he has a picture of the dismembered remains of a dog left in the water by the alligator Monday. msnbc

Yesterday, state fish and wildlife officials granted him a 007-like “license to kill:” permission to shoot the gator on sight. “I don’t really want to think of it like that,” Carpenter says chuckling, “But I can see the analogy.” Until now, local laws made it illegal to discharge a weapon anywhere in Pinellas County. So Carpenter asked FWC for special permission. They discussed the urgency of the situation with officials in Pinellas County, and the special shoot-to-kill exception was granted.”   WTSP News

It is a bit freaky, being from the NW, to read a series of headlines, that are probably common place to folks in the SE: Huge Alabama Gator..a 10-foot alligator bit off a man’s hand…11-foot alligator was lounging on her front stoop…a 10-foot alligator wandered onto the road and refused to move.

Of course, this may not just be a SE problem: “It was at another open manhole, about nine miles away on East 123rd Street in Manhattan, that teenagers shoveling snow one February day in 1935 did, in fact, see one in a city sewer, or said they saw one. They pulled up a sickly, 125-pound, 8-foot alligator with some clothesline they borrowed from a nearby stove shop, only to kill it with their shovels after it snapped at one of the boys.  “Alligator Found In Uptown Sewer,” read the headline in The New York Times.”  NY Times

Ok, I promise I won’t now discuss sharks off Cape Cod or Stinging Jelly Fish.