Surprise Discovery After Florida Rollover: 2 Gators

2 teens are arrested for illegally poaching them
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 11:58 AM CST
Unexpected Find After Florida Accident: 2 Gators
Images from the scene.   (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission doesn't typically respond to the scene of auto accidents. But in this case, there were two good reasons: a pair of large alligators "hanging from the rear window of an SUV resting on its side," the commission explains in a Facebook post. One was 8 feet long, the other a little shorter, reports WFLA. An agency officer removed both and taped their mouths as a precaution because one was still moving, per the Miami Herald. However, both gators eventually died, and the two uninjured teens from the overturned SUV have been charged.

The accident occurred in Hardee County, southeast of Tampa, and involved two males, ages 17 and 18. They told officers they were fishing at a nearby bridge when the two alligators began chasing their lines. The younger of the two used a rock to kill the animals (or try), say police, and they decided to bring them home as apparent trophies. Both have been charged with taking alligators without a permit, a misdemeanor. Police are still investigating what caused the SUV to flip. No word on whether movement from a supposed-to-be-dead gator might have caused it. (More Florida stories.)

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