Florida Wildlife Officers Nab Poachers Via Facebook

People just can't resist the urge to brag about their illegal kills
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 6:57 PM CDT
Florida Wildlife Officers Nab Poachers Via Facebook
If you snag a snook illegally in Florida, it's best not to brag about it later on Facebook.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Florida wildlife officials have a great new weapon in the search for those who kill wildlife illegally—vanity. It seems people just can't resist bragging on Facebook about that fish they snagged out of season or the gator they shot, reports the Orlando Sentinel. In fact, the state wildlife commission now has a separate unit devoted to chasing down such posts, and the tips often come in from the posters' friends. Last year alone, the unit made 177 arrests and warned nearly 100 others.

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"People go on Facebook bragging about their exploits," says the unit's supervisor. "They think they're protected." The officers sometimes create fake accounts to befriend hunters or use tipsters' accounts to look at photos. One teen recently got busted for spearing a snook out of season and had to pay a $350 fine after posting a photo. "Every day I see people posting pictures of marijuana and cocaine, and I get in trouble for this?" (Read more Facebook stories.)

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