Alligator sighting leads to charges against Kentucky man

Posted at 9:27 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 09:48:17-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — A man is facing charges after Kentucky Fish and Wildlife found a 4 ½-foot alligator in a creek near the community of Big Laurel.

Cameron Cornett, 23, of Big Laurel, is charged with illegally transporting and possessing an inherently dangerous exotic (non-native) animal; not reporting its escape to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; and not having a permit or documentation for other exotic animals in his possession.

After receiving a tip June 19, officials with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife searched a portion of Greasy Creek, near KY 2008. Upon finding the alligator, they left to retrieve equipment to help capture it, but when they returned, they found blood on a rock next to the creek and a blood trail leading to the highway.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Kyle Clark's investigation led him to the home of a relative of Cornett where Clark saw blood in the bed of a pickup truck.

The relative told the officer Cornett brought the alligator to Kentucky from Florida and kept the animal in an enclosure in his front yard but that it had escaped two to three weeks earlier.

The alligator’s whereabouts were not known until video of it in the creek surfaced on social media. The relative said Cornett was concerned about the attention and gave instructions to kill the animal. The relative and another person did so.

Officer Clark seized the carcass and Cornett was cited June 23.