The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

June 12, 2014

Tourist video captured gator-feeding frolic

LAFITTE, La. (AP) — Gasps can be heard by tourists on a swamp boat tour in south Louisiana as their guide jumps in the water to feed chicken and marshmallows to two alligators. At one point the guide puts a marshmallow in his mouth and lets one of the gators snatch it away.

The scene was captured on video by Stacy Hicks of St. Helens, Oregon, who visited the area in May.

"When he jumped in I was a little scared, more for him than us though," Hicks said. "I am surprised at the attention this video has gotten. I just thought that this was a thing that happens all the time on the tours."

The video has been shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook.

It also has attracted attention of local and state wildlife officials.

There is no state law prohibiting luring and feeding of alligators, but it's against local law in Jefferson Parish, where the Airboat Adventures tour company is based.

An Airboat Adventures spokesman declined to comment.

Bo Boehringer, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said wildlife agents and parish officials are reviewing the video to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

No charges had been filed as of Tuesday.

Legal or not, wildlife officials say the video shows the unidentified guide took a risk.

"There is no taming an alligator," said Aleutia Scott, a supervising ranger at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. The preserve includes the swamps in Jefferson Parish, just outside New Orleans.

Scott said alligators are "eating machines," and a big one has massive force in its jaws. The alligators in the video appear to be about 5 feet long, indicating they are still growing, Scott said. Alligators are roughly a foot in length at birth and at full maturity, females can reach lengths of 8 to 10 feet and males 12 to 14 feet, she said.

Text Only
AP National
  • With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support WASHINGTON (AP) — As the war in Gaza escalates, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military campaign against Hamas. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to

    July 29, 2014

  • Abuse suspect dead; two marshals, NY policeman hurt NEW YORK (AP) — A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a boy was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a small smoke shop in one of New York's most bustlin

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute. These consumers fall behind on credit cards or hospital bill

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite good news, benefit programs face problems WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite some good news, Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. Social Security's disability program is already in crisis as it edges toward the brink of ins

    July 29, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR ENTERS FOURTH WEEK — DURATION, DEATHS MATCH FIRST CONFLICT Heaviest bombardment in Gaza yet as Israeli aircraft, tanks and nav

    July 29, 2014

  • NYC uses food trucks to bring summer meals to kids NEW YORK (AP) — Within minutes, the line at the food truck parked on a busy Queens thoroughfare extended several people deep. Hipster foodies looking to sample vegan pizzas or fusion tacos? Nope, these were children, agonizing over whether to pick th

    July 29, 2014

  • Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles NEW YORK (AP) — More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an ever more crowded airspace. Each day, 8.3 million people around the globe — roughly the population of New York City — s

    July 29, 2014

  • Analysis: Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily. Memories of Bill Clinton and the campaign of 1998 may help expl

    July 28, 2014

  • After six weeks, finally a deal on VA health care WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Congressi

    July 28, 2014

  • US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border. The

    July 28, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National