Two South Carolina men face harassment charges after social media images showed them pouring beer down the throat of a baby alligator.
Ridgeland residents Joseph Andrew Floyd Jr., 20, and Zachary Lloyd Brown, 21, are accused of harassing wildlife, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.
The men allegedly admitted to investigators that they picked up the juvenile alligator after they saw it crossing a road and forced beer down its throat on Wednesday according to CNN. Pictures posted on social media disturbed the public and alerted officials the next day.
"We started receiving a lot of e-mails and phone calls about this. People had taken screen shots from Snapchat accounts," the agency's spokeswoman Kyndel McConchie told CNN.
In one of the photos, the alligator's neck is being squeezed as a can of beer is pressed against its snout. The text on the photo reads "Gator Shotgun." Another picture shows smoke being blown onto the gator’s face.
Floyd and Brown face a maximum fine of $300 each in addition to their misdemeanor charges.
"Alligators are protected under state law and even federal law where they are still listed as threatened solely due to their similarity of appearance to other endangered crocodilians worldwide," South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Alligator Program Coordinator Jay Butfiloski said.