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260 Baby Alligators Found on Airboat by Florida Police

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 21, 2011 9:44 AM

Did you know that possessing alligator hatchlings is illegal in Florida? Apparently it is, and two Florida men may soon be facing jail time or fines for collecting one too many baby alligators.

Martin Duval and Christopher Cork Scroggins were caught with baby alligators in tow when they came ashore Lake Apopka last week.

No, the men didn't just have one baby alligator.

Duval and Scroggins were caught with 260 alligator hatchlings. Authorities also discovered concealed firearms and ammunition on their boat.

"You have got me, and I have a lot of alligator hatchlings," Duval reportedly said to authorities when they approached.

Duval and Scroggins were booked and charged with possession/capture of hatchling alligators and conspiracy, UPI reports. Duval was also charged with possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon.

As strange as it may seem to have a law against collecting alligators, it's actually pretty normal. Many states, including Florida, have enacted laws designed to protect and safeguard wildlife.

But why were the men out on the lake harvesting some baby alligators in the first place?

It's not like alligators make cuddly pets, especially when they're full grown.

Maybe they were collecting alligators for the  nefarious purpose alligator black market.

You know those expensive alligator-skin handbags and shoes your wife loves to buy? Well, those skins have to come from somewhere. Maybe there's probably a profit to be made from collecting a few hatchling alligators.

Though, if you get caught you might as well kiss your earnings goodbye.

Duval and Scroggins could face up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted of the alligator possession charge.

Concerned animal lovers may be wondering about the fate of the caught baby alligators. Never fear, they were released back to the lake, unharmed. The fate of the two men arrested for possessing the alligator hatchlings? They were released on bail.

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