Two Ridgeland, South Carolina, men are facing charges after they allegedly poured beer down a baby alligator’s throat.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) announced late Friday that Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr., 20, and Zachary Lloyd Brown, 21, were charged with harassment of an alligator in connection with Wednesday’s incident. USA TODAY reported that the pair caught the gator as it crossed a dirt road in Savannah.
According to The Charlotte Observer, Floyd and Brown uploaded six photos to Snapchat showing them holding the 18-to-20 inch alligator’s mouth and pouring beer into it. In another image, one of the men is seen tightly holding the gator by the neck and a beer can is pressed against its snout. The photo is accompanied with the caption “Gator Shotgun.” Another snap supposedly caught one of them blowing smoke from his mouth into the alligator’s (possibly the “shotgun” the other snap referred to), The Observer also reported.
— SCDNR (@SCDNR) May 26, 2017
Though there’s an abundance of gators in South Carolina, SCDNR spokeswoman Kyndel McConchie said the animal is federally-protected to ensure they’re legally harvested for international trade. However, there’s no protection in place that would apply to this case.
“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,” state Alligator Program Coordinator Jay Butfiloski said.
The SCDNR got involved after receiving several messages and calls from concerned citizens, WTVJ reported.
The pair supposedly confessed to abusing the alligator. Floyd allegedly told investigators that they released the gator, which swam into a nearby pond.
Floyd and Brown face a $300 fine if convicted.
[Featured Image: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources]