At a boat ramp at the edge of the Everglades, he saw the man lure the alligator with marshmallows, shoot it six or seven times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle and load it onto the back of his truck.

“Is that legal?” the witness asked the shooter, according to an incident report by the wildlife commission.

“Yeah,” the man replied, and drove off.

Actually, it’s illegal to lure alligators to a small caliber death with marshmallows. As if you didn’t know. But this lattimes promulgated story is about a low-tech, endangered species execution with a high-tech, CSI-style resolution . . .

Investigators took samples of blood from the truck. At the state’s wildlife forensics lab in Boca Raton, a biologist compared the blood with samples taken from the scene of the alligator killing, both from the ground and from spent .22 rounds. The DNA matched, authorities said.

[Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Gabriella] Ferraro said she knew of no previous poaching case made using alligator DNA, but she said the forensics lab has used DNA analysis to make cases for the poaching of other animals, such as deer and turtles.

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