Two Ridgeland men are facing charges after photos posted online last week showed them pouring beer into the mouth of a juvenile alligator they apparently caught along a roadway.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said it began investigating the case after receiving several emails and social media posts on Thursday. The original photos were posted on the social media app “SnapChat,” but one user upset by them took a screenshot and posted to Facebook, since SnapChat images automatically delete after a time.
DNR investigators said 20-year-old Joseph Floyd Jr., and 21-year-old Zachary Brown admitted they picked up the alligator after they saw it crossing the road and poured beer into the animal’s mouth and took photos to post on social media. DNR said the incident happened in Jasper County last week.
Floyd Jr., told officers the two men then released the alligator and watched it swim away in a nearby pond.
“Wildlife conservation is a big part of what SCDNR officers do each day,” SCDNR 1st Sgt. Earl Pope said. “This case is a good example of why we strive to educate people about wildlife in hopes that they will respect it.”
Both men were charged with misdemeanor counts of harassing wildlife. Each charge has a $300 maximum fine. DNR said there are no federal protections for alligators in this kind of harassment case since the animals are not considered endangered.