Why did the alligator cross the road?
Certainly not to have two bros forcibly pour beer down its throat and then Snapchat an image with the tagline "Gator Shotgun."
But that's exactly what happened in South Carolina a few days ago, according to local authorities. Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr., 20 years old, and Zachary Lloyd Brown, 21 years old, were charged with animal harassment after the men admitted to investigators that they saw an alligator crossing a road, decided it would be a grand idea to force feed it beer, and then did so while clutching the animal by its throat.
This embarrassment of a diversion took place in Jasper County, South Carolina—and, yes, South Carolina does have alligators. The victim of the young men's abuse was a particularly small specimen, known as a juvenile alligator. After force feeding the animal beer, the men said they watched it swim away in a nearby pond.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources began receiving emails and messages from the public last Thursday; the incident took place on Wednesday, when the photos were posted on social media. The agency is now filing misdemeanor harassment charges against the duo under the state's alligator protection law. If found guilty, the two will face a maximum fine of $300 each.
"Alligators are protected under state law and even federal law, where they are still listed as threatened solely due to their similarity of appearance to other endangered crocodilians worldwide," said Jay Butfiloski, South Carolina's Alligator Program Coordinator. The agency is publicizing the incident in the hopes that it will educate the public in exactly what not to do should you encounter an alligator. "Wildlife conservation is a big part of what SCDNR officers do each day. This case is a good example of why we strive to educate people about wildlife in hopes that they will respect it," a SCDNR official stated in a press release forwarded by the agency to MUNCHIES.
Shouldn't alligators be allowed to cross the road simply to get to the other side—without being forced into a starring role on some idiots' Snapchat? Let's hope some fines and good old public humiliation will protect peripatetic reptiles for years to come.