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A Florida Man Tried to Trade an Alligator for Beer

A man in Florida attempted to procure a 12-pack of beer in exchange for an alligator he stole from a nearby park. Unfortunately for him, he was not rewarded for his ingenuity.
December 19, 2013, 8:24pm

Thumbnail photo via Flickr User bogeskov

A Florida man attempted to trade a live alligator for a 12-pack of beer, according to a story from Reuters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said the man, Fernando Caignet Aguilera, 64, trapped the 4-foot-long alligator in a park nearby, which also sounds like it was probably a delightfully comical sequence, and then he literally put that alligator in a box and said, off we go to a better life.

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And for a minute, maybe that alligator believed in the man. Maybe the alligator thought, this man really is going to bring me to a new beginning. When Aguilera took him to a convenience store, the alligator must have thought, “OK, well we’re off to a weird start, but everything happens for a reason.”

Imagine the heartbreak from the alligator when he heard Aguilera try to trade his companionship for a dozen beers, probably not even very good beers. “Is that all I meant to you?” the alligator thought, probably. And what a hit to the alligator’s self-esteem when he overheard the convenience store clerk tell him the alligator wasn’t even worth that much.

From there, Aguilera took the alligator outside to see if anyone in the parking lot wanted to buy him, where he was met again with rejection. At that point, the convenience store clerks called the authorities. “Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but there’s a man trying to buy beer with an alligator.” And the authorities responding: “It’s not that crazy. It’s Florida.”

Aguilera was cited with possessing, illegally taking and attempting to sell the alligator, each of which is a misdemeanor charge that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500. Society, Aguilera perhaps thought in his exasperation, a set of customs literally impossible to navigate!

Jorge Pino of the Fish and Wildlife Commission told Reuters, “I think that anybody who would conceive this scheme is not thinking properly.”

According to CNN, the alligator was released back into the wild “in pretty good shape” by the FWC, likely with only a bit of emotional bruising. Pino also called it “a sad situation for the alligator.”

Perhaps even worse for Aguilera, there’s no word on whether or not he got the beer he so badly wanted, or tried to pay the fine with frogs or something.

@grantpa