Two men caught by officers harassing Florida panther kittens and gators

Florida panther kittens in den (Illustrative only)

The Miami Herald reported last week that two men from Miami are behind bars following a year-long investigation by state and federal wildlife officers who viewed several online videos of one of the men handling federally protected Florida panther kittens and wrestling and several alligators in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Alfredo Lopez de Queralta, 45, and Javier Torres, 42, were arrested last Tuesday on eight felony counts each of killing, injuring or possessing alligators or eggs without authority and eight misdemeanor counts pertaining to the handling of an endangered or threatened species.

The investigation started with officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Parks Service watching a February 22, 2017, YouTube video titled Pantera de la Florida con dos Cachorros,” Spanish for Florida panther with two cubs.

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