Last fall, a 23-year-old man named Joshua James pulled up to a Wendy’s drive-through window in Florida to pick up his order and allegedly threw a 3 1/2-foot alligator into the restaurant. 

Authorities recently were able to track down the man, arrest him, and charge him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, petty theft, and unlawful sale, possession, or transport of an alligator, according to news reports. Florida state law prohibits killing, harassing, or possessing alligators.

Although James and his parents say that his actions were meant as a harmless prank, the young alligator was likely terrified and confused. Could you imagine being kidnapped from your home by a stranger, being transported to an unfamiliar location, being thrown several feet through the air, and then crashing to the hard ground?!

Florida Fish and Wildlife photo

Left: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 

Just like humans and all other animals, alligators can feel emotions such as fear, pain, happiness, and sadness. They are not objects, and they don’t want to be used as part of someone’s “prank”! 

What You Can Do

Sadly, on college campuses and elsewhere, cruel humans have a history of using animals as props for “pranks.” If you ever witness anyone bullying any animal or learn about plans to use an animal as part of a prank, contact your local police immediately. If authorities are unresponsive, contact PETA. 

Psssst. For a drive-through experience that won’t harm ANY animals, check out our guide to eating vegan at Wendy’s!

Spread the word! Animals are not ours to use as playthings.

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