Resident disappointed, sad that huge gator was removed from Lake Osborne

Resident disappointed, sad that huge gator was removed from lake (WPEC)

A local man says he’s saddened by what he saw happening on Lake Osborne last week.

A creature that had made the lake its home for many years was removed and he says it didn't need to happen.

Alligators are a part of life in South Florida. Tim Cotteleer, who lives near Lake Osborne, had grown quite fond of a really big one that lived in the lake.

“I happened to see two gentlemen in the water from a distance," he said. "At that point, I said, 'Oh my, what’s going on?”

Cotteleer is a professional landscaper who owns his own business and last week, as he was driving by Lake Osborne, he pulled out his phone and started shooting video.

“I saw that they had an alligator. Several fishing rods attached to him with fishing line and hooks,” he said.

This wasn’t just any alligator; it was a 12-foot alligator.

A gator that he had seen hundreds of times. He even had a nickname for it—Spikey.

Cotteleer says he knew a big gator like that was very old and special.

He said to see people removing it from the lake just seemed wrong.

"It never bothered anybody," he said. “It’s just sad that something has been removed that has been there for so long and had avoided humans for this amount of time."

The head of Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation says someone complained that the gator had come up to them while they were walking their dog by the lake and the gator had lost its fear of humans.

Cotteleer says removing the gator was unnecessary.

“Give them their space, allow them to be who they are," he said. "That’s their home habitat."

According to the parks and rec official, the 12-foot gator was released in a wild area near Clewiston.

He says it was not killed.

Cotteleer says he hopes that’s the case because it would be tragic to kill such a remarkable creature.

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