by Mike Binkowski
Chief of Security
We have received many questions in reference to the state law and penalty for harassing an alligator.
SC Law 50-11-750 states "It is unlawful for any person to feed or entice with food any
American alligator (Alligator mississippienisis), except those persons feeding alligators maintained in
protective captivity under a permit issued by the department pursuant to Section 50-15-50 for education,
scientific, commercial, or recreational purposes: or department personnel, persons licensed, or otherwise
authorized by the department, or county or municipal animal control personnel when relocating alligators by
baiting or enticement. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and,
upon conviction, must be fined in an amount not to exceed two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days."
Each year Security receives three (3) nuisance alligator removal permits. If an alligator
becomes territorial, will not retreat from approaching humans, and shows signs of aggression, it can be
declared a nuisance and removed. We rarely have to remove no more than one alligator per year. Our
investigations usually result in a finding that the alligator in question has been fed and now associates humans with food. This is a very dangerous situation.
It was apparent that the alligator responsible for the attack at Ocean Creek in October had
been fed. When my staff and I arrived at the scene, the alligator was in the middle of the lagoon. When we got out of the cart, the alligator made a 90 degree turn and came directly toward us.
This was an unfortunate incident that we can all learn from. The wildlife on our island are,
in fact, "WILD," they can be unpredictable. Please use caution when any wildlife are around. Be
aware of your surroundings and DO NOT put yourself in a situation that could cause injury or death. If you
have guests or renters who visit our island please make them aware of the possible dangers to themselves and
others when they interact with the wildlife.
DO NOT FEED, HARASS, OR GET TOO CLOSE TO ANY WILDLIFE!!
Our goal at the Fripp Island Patrol is to provide a safe environment for property owners and
guests. This is only possible with your cooperation and participation. If you see something or hear
something that is out of the ordinary, call us at 838-2334 anytime day or night. We will respond and
determine the situation. Don't let the sight of something out of the ordinary slip by. Don't say "it's
not my problem." Security needs your eyes and ears out there. We encourage your calls!
If you have questions or suggestions do not hesitate to contact me at 838-7725.