We’ve come across some strange and costly poaching cases over the years, but this might be the first to involve a sack full of hundreds of baby alligators.
A news site out of Orlando, Florida, recently reported on the arrest of Robert “Bo” Martin Duval and Christophe Cork Scroggins for the capture of 260 hatchling gators (a third-degree felony, in case you were wondering). Duval and Scroggins were stopped by authorities at a boat ramp on Lake Apopka–one of the largest lakes in Florida–and then arrested on various charges relating to the gators they had stashed in bags.
Alligator hunting–of adult gators, that is–is legal but heavily regulated in Florida. Capturing the hatchlings, on the other hand, can carry up to five years in prison.
“Unfortunately, there is an illegal market for hatchling alligators, and people who participate in this type of poaching have no regard for our resources or the laws that protect them,” said David Straub, an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Authorities returned the young alligators to the lake.
Photo by: www.clickorlando.com