COLUMBIA, S.C. - 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.