Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Men Arrested for Snapchatting Abuse of Baby Alligator, Feeding It Beer

Never underestimate the stupidity of people on social media. Two adults, who were initially presumed to be teenagers, admitted to and were arrested for abusing a baby alligator by capturing it, blowing smoke into its face, feeding it beer, and using its tail to drink beers off. What's more, these geniuses thought it would be a good idea to post their abuse of the baby animal that is protected by both state and federal law on Snapchat.

The images they posted were saved, posted to Facebook by a concerned viewer, and then transmitted to the authorities, who are still investigating despite having already made arrests and filed charges. Joseph Floyd, 20, and Zachery Brown, 21, are being charged with a misdemeanor for harassing wildlife under state law.

Is Feeding a Gator Beer Abuse?

Under Florida law, feeding gators anything, let alone beer, is illegal. While there don't seem to be easy to find publicly available scientific studies on how gators react to alcohol, nearly every animal species avoids alcohol. Reptiles can be acutely affected due to their peculiar metabolic rate. Compounding matters in this case is that the gator was not a full size, adult gator, but rather a cute little baby. While drinking ages don't necessarily apply to animals, forcing alcohol into a wild baby animal just feels that much worse.

When it comes to gators specifically, under federal law, they are considered a threatened species. Under Florida law, they are considered dangerous wild animals that the public cannot harass, capture, feed, or do anything with except admire from a distance, unless they have a permit.

Can I Get My Pet Drunk?

No. Don't even give them a sip! Alcohol can be really bad for animals, not just because of the alcohol, but also due to the way alcoholic beverages are made.

If you really want to have a cold one with your best bud after a long day of work, pull some bacon out of the fridge. Giving your pet alcohol is very likely to be considered animal cruelty or abuse and could result in your arrest and criminal charges.

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