Florida teens detained after crash leaving two alligators hanging from truck window | Florida
Officers arriving at the scene of a traffic accident in Florida involving an overturned truck were surprised to discover that two of the “victims” were large alligators, captured by the teenage driver and a friend on a fishing expedition morning and thrown in the back of their vehicle.
Details of the extraordinary incident emerged in a weekend Facebook post from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). The post recounted how officers found the two alligators, measuring 8 feet and over 6 feet, “hanging from the rear window of an SUV lying on its side” in Hardee County, about 70 miles southeast. of Tampa.
FWC officer Jerod Gadd noticed that one of the reptiles was moving. He “immediately removed them from the vehicle and, just as a safety measure, secured their mouths with electrical tape,” the post said.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested the unharmed driver and his passenger, young people between the ages of 18 and 17, and charged them with misdemeanors for taking alligators away without a license.
The teens did not say what they plan to do with the alligators once they got home, the FWC said, but the younger of the two confessed to using a large boulder to try and kill the creatures before setting them off. load into the truck.
The youths told officers they were unhappy with the reptiles chasing their fishing lines.
The cause of the overturning was unclear. The alligator who was still alive at the time of the crash died shortly after.
Alligators are increasingly common on the roads of Florida, a state of around 1.3 million, although most find their way from the Everglades swamps.
Last month, a motorist found a 6-foot alligator under his car in Collier County. In April last year, officers were called in to deal with an “aggressive” 9-foot reptile stopping traffic in Manatee County.
Wildlife officials say most human-alligator encounters occur during the rainy months beginning in April, when amorous reptiles leave the marshes at the onset of mating season.
But the FWC advises anglers and boaters in particular to watch out for alligators at all times of the year, due to the large numbers in inland canals and waterways.