“Continued survivability in the wild is slim,” Kim Titterington tells PEOPLE
An alligator in Florida is garnering attention after it was spotted with the top half of its jaw missing.
Eustacia Kanter told PEOPLE she took a photo of the alligator at Wilson's Landing Park in Sanford, Florida, on Aug. 29. Katrina Shadix then shared the photo on Facebook, hoping to get the alligator medical assistance, writing, "Is anyone in the area that can HELP this poor alligator?"
In the image, the gator's tongue is fully visible and shows its snout torn below the eyeballs. Kim Titterington, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, was contacted by Shadix and spoke out about the alligator with NBC affiliate WESH, explaining that it was something "very shocking."
"From the image I was provided, the alligator appears to have good body weight, and the injury healed over, but the continued survivability in the wild is slim," Titterington tells PEOPLE.
Since the alligator has eluded capture, she tells PEOPLE that one can only speculate at this time on the cause of its condition.
"It could be from another alligator but the clean cut also suggests this animal was caught in a hunting snare," Titterington adds.
Shadix tells PEOPLE that she has also reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who informed her that the agency has had officers looking for the alligator and has a licensed facility where it will be cared for once captured. The FWC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Earlier this year, another alligator in Florida faced similar conditions when it was found with its mouth taped shut in a pond in Hillsborough County. Local resident Amber Lock shared with Fox-13 at the time that it had been "suffering for two months" before it was rescued. After its rescue, it was taken to Gatorama, a family-run alligator park in Palmdale, in which she was given a name and began to be treated.
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"She is doing well so far and will be offered a feeding as soon as the day warms up," general manager Ben Register shared in a press release. "Even though she probably won't eat for a few days due to the stress of being moved and the ordeal she has been through."
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