The V.P. announcement was made with the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk*, Virginia, in the background.
In 1994, a white buffalo dubbed Miracle was born at the Heider family farm just outside Janesville. Miracle lived until 2004. She was frequently visited by Native American ceremonial groups because of sacred symbolism of white buffaloes in many Native American religions.
Ed Long thought he was shooting at a snapping turtle, but he got a surprise when he pulled his trophy from the Milwaukee River:In October 2005, police in the village of Theresa shot a 2- to 3-foot alligator that was sunning itself on a bank along the Rock River.
It was a 4-foot-long alligator.
When the reptile submerged again, Long fired and stunned it. He called to his cousin, who prodded the 25-pound animal with a stick and then ran when it moved.
"We both thought nobody is going to believe us," Long said. "We made a decision to bring it back dead or alive, and more likely dead."
The animal appeared to have died from a shot to the head. The cousins dragged it to a field and then went to their uncle's home for help bringing it in.
"I'm still just absolutely 100 percent shocked," said Long's uncle, Herb Sagan. "You've got a better chance of shooting a 30-point buck in Wisconsin than a gator."
"I've been a warden for 33 years, and I've never heard of anything like it," Warden Bill Mitchell said.
Long has started calling taxidermy shops about preserving the alligator.
"I'd like to have it mounted," he said. "Or at least get a belt or wallet out of it."
Long, 31, of Greenfield, had been in the river Saturday (September 29, 2007) looking for ducks.
"At first, I thought it was a turtle tail," he said. "The it turned and came back at me. I seen the eyes come out of the water, but my brain didn't click. This is Wisconsin. There's not supposed to be gators in Wisconsin."
In December 2011, a 1.5 ft alligator was recovered from the Rock River just across the Illinois border from Rock County, in Winnebago County.
In the coming weeks, we shall revisit this topic, if it seems important.
~ Tiffany Thayer, in his Introduction to Charles Fort's Lo!
Personal footnote: *Norfolk, Virginia. This happens to be my birthplace.