In South Carolina, an experienced hunter killed a 12ft alligator to make sausages but ended up solving a 24-year-old mystery about missing pet dogs.
Ned McNeely killed the crocodile that weighed 445 pounds. He, later on, brought it into a butcher and taxidermy shop so the body could be stuffed and its meat could be turned into sausages.
However, while working on the croc’s body, the team at Cordray’s shop found a surprising discovery in its stomach.
The team found five dog tags among several other indigestible things.
“It definitely ate [the dogs],” Claudia Cordray said. “It was an old animal, 50 to 70 years old.”
The team at Cordray’s was able to get a phone number on one of the retrieved dog tags and called it.
The shop owners said that when they called up the owner, they have learned that they used to hunt in the same area. The tags were confirmed to have belonged to one of the the deer dogs that disappeared 24 years ago.
When the crocodile’s stomach was cut open, the team also found one bullet jacket, one spark plug, some turtle shells, and bobcat claws.
Kenneth Cordray —the shop’s operator— said that crocodiles in the area grow according to their food supply and population. This made them believe that this specific croc was an old one.
“They grow according to their habitat and their food supply and their population,” Cordray told WIS-TV. “But, I mean, he’s up there because he was big enough to eat [full grown hunting dogs] 25 years ago.”
McNeely told WIS-TV that the alligator is one of the biggest he has ever hunted.
“I had to shoot it a couple of times and I had to get a bunch of ropes and hooks and kayaks and a tractor with a chain to finally get it out of the canal because it was in probably an eight to nine-foot canal,” McNeely said.