- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Wildlife officials say that five large alligators found floating in the Ashley River outside Charleston were not illegally poached but were illegally dumped.

Local media outlets reported the bloated gators were found between Middleton and Magnolia plantations over the weekend. Four of the gators had their tails cut off while the fifth was missing its head.

Officials say the gators were legally killed in Berkeley County under a permit allowing removal of alligators form private land. The hunters brought the bodies to a private home, took the head and tail meat and put the carcasses in the river.

The two hunters turned themselves in Tuesday after media accounts of the incident. They are charged with illegal dumping, and will have to remove the carcasses and perform community service.

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