If You See An Alligator Crossing the Road, Let Him

— An alligator crossing the road in Sanford Monday night got a surprise when a man decided to catch it and grabbed it by its tail. But the alligator’s surprise was nothing compared to the man’s when the reptile whipped around and bit him on the leg and then ran into some bushes. As if getting bitten once wasn’t enough, the man, who officials said appeared to be intoxicated, reached into the bushes to grab the gator again, and it obliged him by biting him, again.

The gator was trying to get to some water when 44-year-old Dirk Alan Willms decided to catch it. Eventually, Willms subdued the 45-inch alligator and took it to his house.

Someone who saw him with the alligator reported it to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, which then called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). FWC issued Willms a ticket for possessing an alligator and then released the small reptile into a nearby lake.

While FWC was filling out the citation, Willms commented that he should have cut the gator’s tail off and left it where he caught it, and that he had caught several alligators in the past and had never been bitten.

The moral of this gator tale is if something isn’t bothering you, leave it alone. Catching and possessing alligators without a permit is against the law. Violators should be reported to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if their information leads to arrest.

To recap: Don’t be puttin’ yo’ hands on no alligator in Florida, fool. They protected, you ain’t.

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