Big Al was known to the locals who frequent Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Petersburg as being a "lover" that never bothered anyone, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
At 13 feet long and 770 pounds, Big Al was the largest gator in the area, but his 50 years of life came to an end when he was illegally killed by a licensed hunter on Sept. 25.
Now, the community is outraged and is demanding that the 34-year-old Clearwater man be prosecuted for slaying the local legend.
Florida Fish and Wildlife told the Tampa Bay Times that one of their officers incorrectly told licensed hunter Jovan Johannessen that he could hunt in a park adjacent to the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
However, the manual Johannessen was issued when he earned his alligator hunting license says it's illegal to kill gators in "incorporated cities and municipalities," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Friends of Boyd Hill boardmember Jim House has created a petition on MoveOn.org demanding that Johannessen be prosecuted and that new laws be drafted to prevent mix ups like this in the future.
"We believe it is unacceptable for this animal to only be remembered in record books when he could have been admired in person for years to come," the petition reads.
Even St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is speaking out on the issue.
"I hope the FWC prosecutes this case under the full extent of the law," Foster told the Tampa Bay Times. "We are looking into this as well. But unfortunately, the trophy is worth a lot more than any penalty that we can assess."
What do you think: Should Johannessen be prosecuted?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun