CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. - Officials in a north Florida wildlife refuge are warning about the dangers of littering after a video showed an alligator chewing on a plastic bag.
Corine Samwel was visiting the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge south of Tallahassee on Sunday when she spotted the alligator.
Samwel recorded the gator walking by a plastic bag, which it then grabbed in its mouth and chewed, eventually swallowing it. The reptile then started walking back toward the water, with what appeared to be a long piece of rope hanging out of its mouth.
The refuge's Facebook page shared Samwel's video, noting the alligator ate the bag "presumably containing something it considered edible."
"This is a strong reminder to please secure your trash when you carry it home with you," the refuge said in its post. "Help protect our wildlife. Please keep an eye out for a gator in distress or one trailing a rope or string."
Samwel said that after she recorded the video, she walked around to pick up trash, and found multiple beer cans, water bottles, pieces of plastic and other trash nearby.
She told FOX 13 she hopes the video will serve as a reminder for people to not litter, and to pick up any trash they find.