Good old Victorians; heavily into conservation!
Besides that, seemingly, no tale is too gory for 19th century parents to tell their ‘Little Folks.’
Taken from ‘Little Folks a Magazine for the Young’ of 1890.
‘On the river Guayaquil, in South America, sportsmen find a “happy hunting-ground” in the mud banks there, where alligators most do congregate. These ugly and treacherous creatures are detested wherever they exist, and any, even the cruellest method is employed for killing them. One plan is adopted on this river which seems to be brutal, but in this case the end no doubt justifies the means. As the tide goes out the alligators bury themselves in the soft mud and lie there in a sleepy state until the returning water brings with it fishes and reptiles upon which they prey. Armed with a sharp edged axe the hunter wades in top-boots across the mud, and jumping on the drowsy beasts shoulders, hacks at the neck until he severs the head from the trunk. In vain does the aroused alligator strike out with its tail, or turn itself round and round in the hope of “throwing” its executioner, who is placed beyond reach of claw, teeth or tail. all the same the hunter must have great presence of mind, strong nerve, and a sure foot.’