MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida man walked into a convenience store with a live alligator and tried to trade it for a 12-pack of beer, according to wildlife authorities who cited him with illegally capturing the animal.
It was unclear why the man thought the clerk at the Santa Ana Market in Miami would accept the 4-foot (1.2-meter) reptile as payment, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino said on Tuesday.
“I think that anybody who would conceive this scheme is not thinking properly,” Pino said.
The clerk called authorities and would-be customer Fernando Caignet Aguilera was cited on December 10 with possessing, illegally taking and attempting to sell the alligator, which he said he caught at a park.
Each of the three misdemeanor charges caries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500, Pino said.
The alligator was unharmed and was released back into the wild, he said. Alligators are no longer endangered but it is illegal to take them in Florida except during a closely regulated annual hunt.
Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by David Gregorio