Don’t harass alligators, Fripp Island says as photo of man bugging gator is investigated

Kacen Bayless
·2 min read

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is investigating a possible incident of alligator harassment, according to Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort.

The golf resort posted a photo on Facebook Saturday morning showing a man holding a large alligator’s tail. Another man appears to be taking a photo of the gator. The photo is described as “recent,” but a date is not provided.

“We are sharing this incident in hopes that the violators will be found, not to encourage this behavior,” the Facebook post said.

Fripp Island Resort, in the post, said Fripp is a wildlife habitat and the “harassment, enticement or feeding of wildlife is both illegal and dangerous.”

Representatives from Fripp Island did not return a call for comment Saturday.

David Lucas, spokesperson for DNR, said officials have not identified the people in the photo. He said he did not know when the photo was taken.

Those with information about the incident are asked to call Justin Gantt with DNR at 800-922-5431 or Fripp Island Security at 843-838-2334.

Fripp Island Resort would like to remind all of our residents, guests, and visitors that Fripp is a wildlife habitat....

Posted by Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort on Saturday, March 27, 2021

This isn’t the first time someone on Fripp Island has had a run-in with local wildlife.

In 2013, an Ohio man received a confidential settlement following a 2009 alligator attack at Fripp in which his arm was bitten off.

The man, 77 at the time, was visiting his son on the island. They were playing golf on the 11th hole of the island’s Ocean Creek Golf Course when Wiencek leaned down at the edge of a lagoon to pick up his ball. Suddenly the 400-pound alligator grabbed him by his arm, according to media reports, and dragged him into a pond.

The ruling against Fripp Island Resort Inc. was thought to be the nation’s first successful claim against a private development involving a wild alligator attack, according to Chappell, Smith & Arden, the law firm that represented the Ohio man.