Texas Parks and Wildlife confirmed that the alligator who attacked and killed 28-year-old Tommie Woodard was fatally shot this week.

Woodard was killed while swimming near a marina in Orange, Texas last Friday. Witnesses said the man disregarded numerous signs warning visitors about alligator activity, and mocked the animals before plunging into the water. Game wardens recovered some of his remains from Adams Bayou later in the day.

“A game warden crew searched the area nightly throughout the weekend for a large, aggressive alligator with no success,” stated a press release from Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Then on Monday, officials received notice that a large alligator carcass was dropped off at the same marina Woodard had visited before his death. The alligator was apparently shot and killed by a man who only identified himself as “Bear,” and had left before wildlife officials arrived to retrieve the carcass. Remains belonging to Woodard were located inside the reptile.

“He had to go,” Bear told the Beaumont Enterprise regarding the alligator. “That’s what happens when you kill someone.”

The man reportedly baited the alligator with chicken from a boat and shot the reptile when it came close. Authorities said it is illegal to kill an alligator unprovoked, even if the animal in question is a man-killer. Wardens said Bear should have instead contacted wildlife officers or nuisance trappers rather than dealing with the animal himself. The illegal harvest of an alligator in Texas is a class C misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $500. In the end, officials decided to slap Bear with a warning citation instead of more serious penalties in the belief that the man killed the gator to protect his family and others.

“In no way do we condone the killing of a nuisance alligator without proper authority. Either Texas game wardens or a licensed nuisance alligator hunter would have been more appropriate to handle the situation. Either way, because of its aggressive behavior, the alligator would have to be killed,” said Colonel Craig Hunter, Law Enforcement Director for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “If there is a positive that can come out of this case, it’s an educational opportunity for us to reinforce to the public not to feed or disturb alligators and that there are proper procedures for handling nuisance alligators.”

Woodard’s death is believed to be the first alligator-related fatality in Texas history. Officials once again reminded the public to heed “no swimming—alligator” signs to avoid future attacks.

You can watch interviews with witnesses below:

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“I asked him, ‘Please do not go swimming, there’s a bigger alligator out here, please stay out of the water.’ And the next thing I know this girl is screaming, ‘An alligator’s got him, an alligator’s got him,'” Michelle Wright, a friend who saw the attack, told KPRC.

Witnesses recalled Woodard shouting obscenities regarding the animals and jumped in. Officials later recovered human remains from the alligator killed on Monday, confirming it as the one that attacked Woodard. An examination of the body showed that the victim likely died from drowning rather than the wounds inflicted by the reptile.

“This was a truly horrific tragedy that unfortunately became compounded by the actions of an individual who felt compelled to take matters into his own hands for the safety of his family and others,” said Hunter.

Image from Spencer Wright on the flickr Creative Commons

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17 thoughts on “Texas Man Kills Alligator, Remains of Man Who Mocked It Found Inside

  1. “In the end, officials decided to slap Bear with a warning citation instead of more serious penalties in the belief that the man killed the bear to protect his family and others.” This article states that the man, called by the name Bear, killed a bear. Error, lol

  2. Shows the stupidity of bureaucrats worldwide even in Texas, an alligator is more protected than man? If it had been a human murderer he could have been blown away but an alligator you call the proper bureaucrat while the gator swims away.

  3. I truly understand how officials don’t want citizens to go out tracking and killing these dangerous creatures on their own, but please will someone tell me how do you get the man eating alligator to stay in place until officials show up to dispatch it!?
    If they take as much time to arrive on the scene as they do when someone is breaking into your home, that gator is going to either have someone else for lunch, or be long gone prior to their arrival!

  4. i want to them serve “bear”. are they going to nail it to a tree? go find a bear and tack to it’s ass? not sayin nuten here, just askin, just askin.

    ice cream. raz

  5. So I’m reading comments on here saying the alligator had to go…. I think the man that jumped in after disregarding the warning signs deserves a Darwin award. Stupidity at its finest.

    1. It never ceases to amaze me when stupid people do stupid things around wild & dangerous animals, that in the end the animal getting killed. Which part of there are alligators in the water at this marina did this dolt not comprehend? Frankly he was a perfect example of you can’t fix stupid. All the alligator did was act like an alligator. Meal presented itself, & he took it.

      1. I agree, the fool was warned of the danger and made a choice to ignore the threat to his life. Why kill any animal for doing what comes naturally. I am not an animal loving nut I have no problem with killing a rouge animal but this was the fault of a stupid human.

      2. Agree. The alligator’s meal acted stupidly and the gator did what a gator does. Do we really expect him to have given deference to this man? I question the decision to kill this gator who had culled a small piece of stupid from the human herd. By destroying him, the Darwinian math ensures that the collective intelligence of the human race remains lower by ensuring that drunk redneck swimmers are a protected class..

  6. Sir, maybe we could use some chicken to draw out a —— in a old white house north east of here. Would save a lot of people’s future.

    1. maybe we could use some chicken to draw you out of that slimy gutter you live in. would save a lot people having to listen to your dumb ass!

  7. Famous last words, “Hey yall, watch this.”

    Wonder what he was thinking as the gator got him.
    Not such a smart mouth now, is he.

  8. By the time the “authorities” figured out the best course of action, the gator could have breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a snack. Beauracracy at it’s best. Good job Bear!

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