Ned McNeely took a 445-pound alligator that he killed to the owner of Cordray’s, a butcher and taxidermy shop in Ravenel, South Carolina to have it processed. Upon inspection, however, they found some interesting things inside.
Shop owner Kenneth Cordray was astonished and a bit curious after finding five collared name tags from pet dogs inside the 12-foot gator’s body. Kenneth shared a few photos and his thoughts on his findings to his Facebook page.
“We don’t usually open up the stomach but we did today. 5 dog tags, 1 bullet jacket, 1 spark plug, loads of turtle shells, and several bobcat claws were inside,” Cordray’s wrote on Facebook.
Cordray’s post also stated that two of the dog tags were still readable and one of them had a working phone number on it. When they called the number, an elderly man picked up and said he used to live in the area a long time ago.
“I talked to him and he was an older gentleman and he said that he had a lease down on the other side of the river from where the gator was killed, 24 years ago,” WCSC reported him saying.
He said back then there were so many alligators that dogs would go missing all the time and he figured that’s what happened to his dogs – they got eaten.
McNeely and Cordray’s looked at the gator and said the age of the animal isn’t clear, however, by the look of it, it appears to be very old, and most certainly could have been the gator that was eating his dogs back in the day.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) said that the American alligators can live to be more than 60 years old and are the only crocodilians native to South Carolina.
McNeely was asked what he’s going to do with the gator once it’s processed, and his response was, “My wife is upset with me because I’m talking about doing a full mount, or I might do a rug mount. I haven’t decided just yet.”