Alligators are reptiles of the crocodilian family that usually don’t mess with humans unless instigated. However, can you imagine how lethal these predatory reptiles can become if they’re on methamphetamine?
The notion of an alligator on meth might seem strange to you. But word of the Tennessee Police sending out warnings about ‘Meth-gators’ has been going around for quite a while now.
The drug incident on July 11th, 2020
On Saturday, July 11th, some officers from the Loretto Police Department in Tennessee went to serve a search warrant for drugs. Upon arriving on the location, the officials found the suspect, Andy Perry, trying to flush the drugs down his toilet.
The suspect’s attempt was unsuccessful, as the Police managed to seize the drugs from him in time. A total number of 24 vials of fluid meth were confiscated, along with another drug called paraphernalia.
“Don’t flush drugs down your toilets”
On Monday, July 13th, the Loretto Police Department of Tennessee took to Facebook to warn the people about the lurking threats of ‘meth-gators,’ i.e. alligators on methamphetamine.
The Facebook post was written as a response to a search incident that took place two days ago, on Saturday.
In the post, the officers warned the residents of Tennessee not to flush their drugs down their toilets. The people responsible for sewage treatment do not expect to find drugs there and have no means to treat it. The water from the sewage ends up in the treatment pond. The pond is a habitat of several fowl animals, who are subjected to the meth or other drugs.
While having ducks and geese high on meth doesn’t sound like much, having a ‘meth-gator’ is a matter of serious concern. The Police stated that if it carried on, the drug-infused water could lead to the Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River, and affect the alligators who reside there.
The Police also stated that there had already been a few cases of methed-up animals in recent weeks. In the end, they requested the local residents to contact them for proper drug disposal instead of posing a threat to the environment by flushing it down.
The public of Tennessee, as expected, made a big deal out of it. Many social media users joked that the meth-gators should be their University mascots. Although on a more serious note, the threat of alligators high on meth was unheard of, and thus, terrified many citizens.
Is the threat of ‘meth-gators’ real?
Kent Vliet, an Alligator Biologist at the University of Florida, has been working with alligators for about 40 years. He stated that animals did not react to the drugs in a manner similar to humans. Therefore, there was no telling how little or how much the drugs would affect them.
Vliet discarded the entire notion as ridiculous, saying that drugs mixed with water would dilute it considerably, rendering it ineffectual on the alligators.
The truth behind the ‘meth-gator’ story
As the ‘meth-gator’ story began to invite too much attention, the Loretto Police had to come clean.
Bobby Joe Killen, the Chief of Loretto Police Department, stated that there had not been any sightings of a meth-gator. The Facebook post was a joke to deliver a message. People had to understand that flushing down drugs was unhealthy for the environment.
It’s not the first time that the Police Department has joked on social media. Killen himself approves of all the posts before they are uploaded. He further stated that in their line of work, having a little laugh was essential to blow off steam.
The Loretto Police is using the fame from the ‘meth-gator’ story for a good cause. The money raised is donated to a local charity that supports the child-victims of drug abuse.
Other cases of animals on meth
Many people are connecting the ‘meth-gator’ story with the recent ‘attack squirrel’ incident that was uncovered last month. Mickey Paulk, a felon from Alabama who had several warrants to his name, was arrested on Thursday, June 24th.
While searching his home in Alabama, the Police came across an alleged ‘attack squirrel’ that was supposed to be on meth. However, the squirrel couldn’t be tested for meth due to the lack of a safe method.