When an alligator was spotted crawling around a mini-golf course in South Carolina, an animal control company was called in to have the animal removed.
But an investigation has been launched after at least 30 people were photographed and filmed sitting on top of the 12-and-a-half-foot reptile, which had been tied up at Hilton Head Island to be removed from the area by the Critter Management. Some of them were seen lying down the gator’s back.
According to Joey Maffo of Critter Management, people gathered around the gator as his team tried to capture the gator, estimated to be around 90 years old.
The alligator, which had been hiding in the murky waters of a lagoon near the area, was eventually euthanized.
Steve Riley, the Town Manager, said he was “deeply concerned about the egregious and unacceptable behavior” that occurred as the reptile was being removed from the golf course. Even Critter Management is also being investigated.
He wrote in a statement: “As a Town, we advocate for the protection of wildlife and the natural resources of the environment we live in.”
Riley added: “It is unfortunate that people at the scene chose to make a spectacle of this situation and behave in a manner completely contrary to the core values and beliefs we, as Island residents, hold dear.”
The unacceptable behavior began after the reptile’s jaws and limbs had been tied up and staff of Critter Management invited people to take a look.
Maffo told the Island Packet: “That was actually on me. As soon as I taped the gator, I thought it was a good opportunity to get people to understand how big and powerful it was.”
But people decided to sit on the animal’s back as they took videos and photos of the helpless creature.
Maffo apologized for the incident and said: “It certainly wasn’t our intent to exploit this alligator. We had no intensions of making it look like a fiasco.”
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