A Florida man was recently cited for attempting to trade a live alligator for a 12-pack of beer at a convenience store in Allapattah, a suburb of Miami.
Fernando Aguilera strolled into the Santa Ana Market toting a live, four-foot-long alligator, hoping the clerk would trade the reptile for some beer. The clerk called the police, who in turn called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Aguilera, who had the alligator wrapped in tape, says he'd captured it at a local park. Wildlife officers released the unharmed animal, and handed Aquilera three separate citations for the illegal capture and sales attempt of the alligator. All charges filed are second-degree misdemeanors, which carry maximum penalties of 6 months in jail, along with a $500 fine.
The American alligator, or Alligator mississippiensis, is one of two living species in the genus Alligator within the family Alligatoridae, and is common in the southeastern U.S. The species can grow to be fairly large, with a 727-pound specimen recently being taken in Mississippi.
Check out a clip of a 'gator being captured in a Floridian back yard:
Alligators are typically wary enough of humans to avoid them as prey, but occasionally attacks and fatalities do occur. Alligator sightings are common in Florida, as human development has long encroached upon the reptile's native habitat. An alligator recently made its way into a Apopka, Florida Wal-Mart.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Jorge Pino commented, "In 25 years of law enforcement, I have never come across an individual who purposely caught an alligator and tied it up, brought it to a convenience store and tried to barter it for a 12-pack."
Image via Wikimedia Commons.