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Florida teen seen in video downing Twisted Tea in alligator’s mouth faces criminal charges

A teenager faces animal abuse charges after a video shows him chugging a beer with a baby alligator (Screenshot from NBC Tampa, Florida, affiliate WFLA)

A teenager faces criminal charges after a video shows him chugging a Twisted Tea with a baby alligator (Screenshot from NBC Tampa, Florida, affiliate WFLA)

A teenager in Florida faces criminal charges after he was seen on video downing Twisted Tea in a baby alligator’s mouth.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began investigating after they became aware of the video. One teen in the 15-second video faces charges of taking the animal without a permit, the agency said.

“The lack of respect and responsibility shown toward this animal was disappointing,” the agency said. “This serves as a strong reminder of the consequences of such behavior.”

Lexxus Thomas was at a truck meet-up and took the video, telling CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP she saw teenagers force-feeding the baby gator cans of the alcoholic Twisted Teas drink and “tormenting the little thing.”

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation president Vernon Yates told NBC Tampa, Florida, affiliate WFLA that everyone in the video who touched it needs to be brought in front of a judge.

“And then the judge needs to take some serious points of views to use as an example,” Yates said the station reported. “This has got to stop.”

Yates took the people in the video to task: “There’s got to be something better they could be doing with their time besides tormenting some poor little alligator.”

In a statement, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said cases of young people hurting animals are on the rise.

“Thanks to the brave brother-and-sister duo who reportedly recorded this abuse and intervened on this baby alligator’s behalf, this wild animal has been returned to nature, and one of his apparent tormentors is being held accountable,” the statement said. “PETA urges everyone to follow these siblings’ example, speak up whenever an animal is in danger, and take these incidents seriously, as people who abuse one animal rarely stop there.”

Anyone concerned about an alligator should call this toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

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