WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida father turned in his 19-year-old son after the teen sent a text message bragging about killing an alligator with a machete, wildlife officials said.
Alligators can only be killed in Florida by people with certain permits. Otherwise, state law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrested Corey Hardie of Palm Beach Gardens last week on charges that include the illegal killing of an alligator and killing or wounding a protected species.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Hardie posted $6,000 bond Saturday. Jail records did not show whether he had an attorney.
Hardie’s father alerted the wildlife commission after his son texted a photo Aug. 4 showing him kneeling over an alligator that he said he had killed with a machete on state lands in Palm Beach County, officials said.
Hardie initially blamed a friend for killing the alligator, officials said.
According to a commission report, in a phone call heard by investigators, Hardie later acknowledged to the friend that he had “hacked” the alligator to death.
Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson declined to elaborate on how the alligator died, citing the continuing investigation.