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Saturday 19 April 2014

Man tries to barter live alligator for beer

18th December, 2013 by Gabriel Savage

A man from Florida faces a $500 fine and up to six months in jail after attempting to trade a live four-foot alligator for a case of beer.

Photo credit: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Photo credit: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Fernando Aguilera faces three charges for possessing, illegally taking and then attempting to sell the animal in a Miami convenience store, where employees called the police.

According to reports, Aguilera tied up the alligator before walking into the Santa Ana Market where he was a regular customer and trying to convince staff to exchange the reptile for 12 beers.

“I have never experienced anything like this in 25 years in law enforcement,”¬†said Jorge Pino, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “You’re not allowed to touch, harass, feed alligators in any way, shape or form.”

Aguilera is understood to have trapped the alligator in a nearby park. Pino confirmed that it appeared unharmed by its ordeal and has since been released.

Although the reptiles are not classed as an endangered species, it is illegal to capture them except during a popular regulated hunt each year. This sees around 10,000 people apply for 5,000 permits, each of which allow the capture of two alligators during a season that runs from 15 August until 1 December.

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