RALEIGH, N.C. (CBS Local) – For the first time in nearly five decades, a small group of hunters in North Carolina will be able to hunt alligators this year.
The state’s Wildlife Resources Commission is allowing residents to hunt in Hyde County starting on Sept. 1, marking the first legal hunt in 45 years. There’s a big catch to this plan however: only 20 permits will be given out for the month-long hunt.
Hundreds of hunters have reportedly already applied for the $250 licenses, which will be randomly selected by computerized lottery. The News & Observer noted that the odds of securing an alligator permit may be worse than getting a ticket to see “Hamilton” at the Durham Performing Arts Center this fall.
North Carolina officials say the rare hunt was approved because alligator sightings are getting out of control in the area. The 20 hunters will be pointed towards three areas where “frequent alligator conflicts” have taken place.
“It is pretty obvious to anyone that lives and works here that the alligator… interactions are on the rise,” Assistant County Manager Kris Noble said, via The Wall Street Journal. Luckily, no one in Hyde County has reportedly been injured by the surge of gators in the state.
This year has seen a massive rise in alligator sightings across the southern United States. Their mating season ran from May and June, however the ferocious animals have continued to pop up in strange places. Scientists believe as populations among previously endangered species increase, alligators and other animals are moving back into areas they used to hunt in.