South Florida man accused of bartering 4-foot alligator for beer
By Carmen Carroquino, Associate Producer -
MIAMI (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials said one South Florida man was ticketed for trying to trade a live alligator for a 12-pack of beer.
Officials said the thirsty man walked into the Santa Ana Market convenience store in Miami and did his best to barter a 4-foot alligator for the beer.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Jorge Pino, a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer. "It's quite a unique situation. I guess the guy was really feeling some sort of desperation."
Store employees called wildlife officials, who said they showed up in time to find the gator tied up in a box.
"It's something you should not do," Pino said. "The alligator is a protected species. Don't touch, feed or harass them."
Pino said it's a second-degree misdemeanor to mishandle an alligator, punishable by up to $500 and six months in jail.
As for where the man could have picked up the gator, Pino said it's not uncommon to see gators along a canal near the store. He also said bartering an alligator for beer is something he won't soon forget.
"This is a very unique situation," he said. "And I've never experienced this in 25 years of law enforcement."