FORT MYERS, Fla. While some animals make great house pets, many others don’t — like alligators.
Five students at Florida Gulf Coast University were caught Sunday with a 3-foot dead gator in their dorm room after posting pictures of it on social media.
“I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I saw this girl’s tweet that someone kidnapped the SoVi (South Village) gator and I was like, ‘What the heck?'” sophomore Kandace Tice said. “So I clicked on the picture and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it looks like it’s in someone’s bed.'”
University police discovered the pictures and found the gator at Palmetto Hall in the South Village freshman housing complex. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was later contacted to investigate the incident.
The students found the carcass along the side of the road, put it in their trunk and brought it on campus as a joke, FWC public information officer Brian Norris said.
Many students are in disbelief.
“I’ve heard a lot of crazy things go on at this school,” freshman Enzo Pomares said. “But so far, that’s the craziest I’ve heard.”
But not everyone found the incident amusing.
“I don’t think it’s funny,” Tice said. “It’s kind of a nice big deal to have alligators on campus and animals on campus, and I just think we should treat them right.”
Phillip Allman, associate professor of vertebrate zoology at FGCU, said in a recent article published by the Eagle News that the gator population on campus is diminishing.
Students keep feeding the reptiles, Allman said, causing them to lose their fear of humans and are euthanized before they become a threat.
The FWC removed the reptile from the dorm room and three students were issued warnings for possession of an alligator without proper permits.