12-foot gator removed from Florence County

12-foot gator killed after residents expressed concerns

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) -- A 12-foot alligator has been killed after residents near a Florence County pond expressed concerns that it posed a threat to children and pets.

The Morning News of Florence reported ( ) that wildlife expert Dennis Matherly harvested a 575-pound gator from a pond 5 miles south of Florence.

Matherly says the alligator has been in the pond before, and probably lived most of its life in the nearby Great Pee Dee River.

Matherly owns Pee Dee Wildlife Control and got a license from the Department of Natural Resources to kill the gator.

He says nuisance alligators cannot just be removed from an area where they have taken up residence, because they most likely will return.