It’s not every day people in Johnston County get to gather around a 12-foot-4-inch alligator to take pictures.
But on Monday, the body of such an alligator – infamous for eating an 80-pound husky dog last month – drew several curious people to Wise Recycling in Clayton.
The reptile is at Eastern Carolina Taxidermy in Smithfield to be prepared for display at the Onslow County Environmental Education Center. First, though, the taxidermy store’s owner, Jim Williams, decided to weigh the alligator.
A crowd of about 20, including children, gathered at Wise Recycling on Monday as Williams drove the alligator body over from his shop. It had been kept in a freezer at the store and was wrapped in blankets and placed in the back of his truck for the drive. Others helped him strap a makeshift harness around the alligator and lift it into the air with a forklift. They then lowered it onto a weigh station that is normally used for trucks.
People took pictures as the scale read 540 pounds.
Kathy Kalivoda, vice president of Wise Recycling, said she didn’t believe Williams at first when he called asking to weigh the alligator carcass.