Police arrested a 24-year-old Florida man who threw a three-and-a-half foot alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window. Joshua James, WPTV reported, found the alligator by the side of the road. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession and transportation of an alligator, which is illegal in Florida. James apparently knew one of the Wendy’s employees and thought it would be a good prank.
The first of the changes, assault with a deadly weapon, is easy to understand. But why is it illegal to possess an alligator? Well, besides the fact that the average male alligator reaches 11-feet long and is often hungry, the alligator is a protected species. The species has recovered from its endangered status, but it is still protected to shield other creatures that resemble it like crocodiles and caimans. So it’s illegal to possess, harass, or kill an alligator. (James did the first two.) Unless you are a participant in the statewide alligator harvest program (there is a lottery) and have been issued a permit. Then you may kill alligators during the Statewide Alligator Hunt.