COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has charged two men after photos posted to social media appear to show a young alligator being for forced to drink beer.
The photos show the alligator’s neck being squeezed tightly and one shows smoke being blown into the gators mouth.
Joseph Floyd Jr., 20, and Zachary Brown, 21, admitted to officers that they picked up the alligator after they saw it crossing the road, officials said.
The two admitted they poured beer into the animal’s mouth and took photos to post on social media.
Floyd told officials that they then released the alligator and watched it swim away in a nearby pond.
The two will face a misdemeanor charge of harassing wildlife because alligators are federally protected animals and in South Carolina, it is illegal to feed or capture an alligator without a permit.
— S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources (@SCDNR) May 26, 2017
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 26, 2017
Kyndel McConchie, public information director for the State Department of Natural Resources, originally said it was believed one of the people involved was younger than 17, but officials later charged the two men.
“The photos were uploaded onto SnapChat by one of the kids doing harm to the animal, people saw it, got angry and they did screen shots of the images,” McConchie told the Charlotte Observer. “That’s how it came to our attention.”
“This case is a good example of why we strive to educate people about wildlife in hopes that they will respect it,” South Carolina DNR 1st Sgt. Earl Pope said.