Teens Charged After Crashing Truck, Revealing Captured Gators 'Hanging' From Window

A bizarre incident led to misdemeanor charges for two Florida teens, after officers found two captured alligators in their crashed vehicle.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) posted about the recent case on their Facebook page late last week, describing officers' surprise at the "vehicle accident involving two people and two alligators."

For context, in Florida, it is illegal for individuals to "intentionally kill, injure, possess, or capture, or attempt to kill, injure, possess, or capture, an alligator or other crocodilian." Only those working under the FWC have permits that allow for the capture and/or killing of so-called "nuisance alligators."

According to the Miami Herald, the incident occurred on December 9 in Hardee County, southeast of Tampa. The two teenagers were driving in a Ford Explorer SUV when they reportedly became involved in a single-vehicle crash.

Authorities were sent to the scene—and upon arrival, they found two gators "hanging from the rear window." Per the FWC statement, one of the alligators was six-and-a-half feet in length while the other measured a whopping eight feet. The SUV had been overturned and was laying on its side.

"The officer immediately removed them from the vehicle," explained the agency, referring to the alligators. They added that "just to be safe," the officer also "secured their mouths using electrical tape."

"After interviewing the individuals, one of them finally admitted to killing the alligators while fishing, and then both suspects loaded the gators into the SUV for transport," added the FWC.

The Miami Herald reported that at the time of the cops' arrival, one of the reptiles was "still slightly moving," though its companion had already died.

The news publication also added that the truck was being driven by an 18-year-old, accompanied by a 17-year-old friend. The two had been fishing that morning when alligators started interfering with their lines.

The younger of the two reportedly initiated the incident, allegedly killing the alligators with a large rock. They planned on taking the alligators home, but it remains unclear what they intended to do with them afterward. It is also unknown what caused their SUV to flip in the first place.

The teenagers were charged with misdemeanors for taking the alligators without a permit. Both reptiles reportedly eventually "expired."

Newsweek has reached out to the FWC for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

While certainly dangerous, alligators also have several fascinating qualities. Because of their night-vision capabilities, the reptiles have eyes that actually glow in the dark. Additionally, whenever one of their teeth becomes worn down, it simply replaces itself. As such, a single alligator can have up to 3,000 teeth throughout its lifetime.

Alligator
Two Florida teens were recently charged after a car crash revealed they were transporting the bodies of two alligators. Above, an alligator in the Florida Everglades, 2007. Joe Raedle/Getty Images