PALM CITY, Fla. (WTSP) — It was all caught on Snapchat: A Florida man is seen enticing a gator to bite him in the arm. After the reptile takes a nip, the man pours a can of Coors Light into its mouth.
That’s 27-year-old Timothy Kepke in the video, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report.
Wildlife officials said they first received a complaint about the social media video on Aug. 26 and watched it in full. The alligator is young enough to be held, and it didn’t take too kindly to the beer being poured into its mouth. It’s seen thrashing about before the video ends.
Officers went to Kepke’s home on Sept. 17, and he reportedly told them he was the man in the video and that his friend, 22-year-old Noah Osborn, caught the reptile with his bare hands a few months prior while out on a boat. Kepke said he had a few beers but wasn’t drunk, the report said.
Later in the day, Osborn was interviewed and law enforcement says he admitted to giving the gator to Kepke at his request. The gator was released back into the wild “unharmed.”
The FWC officer leading the investigation found enough evidence to charge both men with the illegal capturing of an alligator. Kepke also was charged with animal cruelty for pouring the beer into its mouth.
Another woman was interviewed as part of the FWC investigation, they said, who was the third person on the boat. She was not charged.
TCPalm reports Kepke and Osborn were jailed in Martin County with $5,000 and $2,500 bonds, respectively, and were released Oct. 3.