South Carolina bill would increase fine for bothering alligators up to $1,000

The South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that increases penalties against people who try to antagonize or feed alligators, after a viral 2020 video shows a man laying on top of an alligator before it was euthanized. 

The law, H. 3538, increased the minimum fine levied against a person who tries to "feed, entice, or molest" an alligator to $500. The previous minimum fine was $100. A person can be fined up to $1,000 and face 30 days in prison.

"We don’t want to get anybody hurt in this state," Rep. Bill Hixon, a North Augusta Republican, said.

The bill was written after a social media post in 2020 showed players at a Hilton Head Island mini-golf course sitting on top of a restrained alligator and riding it before it was euthanized.

Lawmakers showed a screenshot of the video before the vote. 

The bill now heads to the Senate. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.