Three California kids vacationing in Florida tied a rope around an alligator and dragged it to shore from the water at Fay Lake Wilderness Park in Brevard County, FOX 11 Los Angeles and Florida Today reported.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded Thursday evening, according to Florida Today. The incident involved California youths who are 16, 8 and 6.
Fox 11 reported that the wildlife agency said the 16-year-old “made a lasso from nylon rope and looped it around the head of an alligator.”
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Chad Weber told Florida Today the teen “was issued a citation for feeding, enticing or molesting alligators and educated on alligator safety in Florida.”
Brevard County Fire Chief Mark Schollmeyer spoke to Fox 11 about the incident.
“I asked what their intention was and their intention was to put a noose around the alligator and ensnare him,” Schollmeyer said, according to Fox 11. “My next question was, ‘How are you gonna get the rope off the alligator?’ And he said, ‘I’m an expert, and I’m gonna take him to shore.’”
Schollmeyer said he called deputies and FWC officers, who arrived with a trapper. The gator had slipped back into the water with the noose hanging around its neck, Florida Today reported.
Weber told Florida Today he was unsure if the gator, which was later caught, was relocated or euthanized, while Schollmeyer told Fox 11 that the gator was put down.
“It’s part of nature, part of living in Florida,” Schollmeyer said, Fox 11 reported. “Every lake has an alligator in it. It became a nuisance alligator once they started messing with it, plus the size, so they euthanized it. No fault of the animal. It was just some kids that made a bad decision.”