DNR cuts ties with contractor who shot Folly Beach gator

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- The contractor who shot and killed an alligator that washed up on the shore at Folly Beach will no longer be used by the Department of Natural Resources.

DNR officials confirmed Wednesday that Raymond Covington of Nuisance Wildlife Removal Service will no longer be used by the state agency to handle nuisance wildlife calls.

According to officials, the shooting of the alligator on Folly Beach was not the only incident that led to DNR's decision, but one of several other concerns. Officials said Covington's actions on Folly Beach were not representative of the image DNR would like to portray.

Covington reportedly responded to one other nuisance wildlife call last week after the incident on Folly Beach, but DNR has since cut ties with him.

Covington said he had a long conversation with DNR officials and said both sides were on good term with each other, but he said he would no longer handle any emergency wildlife calls for the agency.

He will still handle nuisance gators for his own company, Covington said.

According to Covington, the loss of the DNR contract isn't affecting his business terribly. He said he never made much money on those calls because he would travel three counties and could be on a call for several hours.

Many people were upset after Covington last Wednesday was called to handle a 10-foot alligator that had washed up on the shore. In front of a crowd of people, Covington shot the alligator in the head before dragging it off the beach and shooting it again.

Several children were among the onlookers at the time of the shooting. Several parents said they were upset that they had to explain why Covington shot the animal and why it had to die.

After Covington shot the gator, some of the people on the beach questioned him about it, asking him why he would shoot an animal in front of several children. Covington said the gator's eyes were turning white and looked as though it would not live, so he decided to kill it.

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