April 9 (UPI) — A South Carolina resort blasted tourists who threw carrots at an 11-foot alligator as “a new level of stupid.”
The Fripp Island Resort Activity Center posted photos to Facebook showing the large alligator with a carrot stuck to the side of its face.
“Today some visitors threw carrots onto a big alligator,” the resort said. “This is a new level of stupid. We know some of Fripp’s wildlife is amazing, but this is not how appreciation, respect, or admiration work.”
The resort said officials have a description of the tourists responsible for the carrot throwing and they could face fines of up to $200 per carrot thrown for harassing the gator.
Fripp Island naturalist Jessica Miller told the Hilton Head Island Packet that the alligator didn’t respond to the humans and “later slunk back into the water once the sun started going down.”
Miller said there is a danger the alligator could start to see humans as a source of food and would have to be put down.
“Many of our big gators have no response to humans other than to slink away when they get too close,” Miller said. “But, the closer people get to him, the more habituated he will get to them and it will become more likely that this gator acts out of defense.”