GULF SHORES, Ala. – State officials in Alabama say they have identified a man who said he was paid to feed alligators in a park.
Officials at Gulf State Park initially asked for information about the man seen in a photo with an alligator, who told people that he was being paid to feed the animal. In an update posted to its Facebook page, Gulf State Park said the person had come forward.
Officials told WEAR-TV that the man is from the northern part of the state and will receive a ticket for feeding the alligator.
When the man fed the alligator, he began to draw a crowd, and told people that he was being paid to do it.
“They do have the ability to jump out of the water,” Mike Rodgers told WALA. “They can grab your arm. They can drag you in and take your arm off. Why would you take those chances? I don’t understand that.”
When officers responded to the scene, the man had already left, WPMI reported.
Signs in Gulf State Park clearly advise people to leave alligators alone, WALA reported.
Gulf State Park officials said: “While it may be exciting to see an alligator in action, feeding an alligator will cause it to lose its fear of people, making it more likely to approach and possibly misidentify a human as food, putting innocent people at risk.”
Alligators are listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.