Florida Man Pets Alligator With Help From Marshmallows

by Taylor Cunningham
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A Florida couple recently celebrated their 40th anniversary alongside a marshmallow-loving alligator in Louisiana’s bayou region.

Hester Dolgin, a Florida resident, headed to LA with her husband to escape Hurricane Ian last month. As she shared with Storyful, they decided to take an airboat through the swamps outside of New Orleans. And it was there that the couple met the seemingly friendly reptile that was willing to do anything for a fluffy white snack.

Apparently, NOLA gators love marshmallows. So when Dolgin’s husband opened a bag, a few of the wild animals were already ready for a feast.

Dolgin recorded the alarmingly close encounter. In the video, which the publication shared, her husband can be seen petting the alligator as it chomps on the snacks. It even fetches marshmallows that he throws. At one point, he even hand-feeds it and shakes its rear feet.

“My husband has petted lots of animals,” Dolgin said. “We went on a safari and he petted a white rhino, a giraffe, llamas … nothing he won’t touch.”

Feeding Alligators ‘ Creates a Potentially Dangerous Situation,’ According to Officials

While the man in the video makes alligators look cute and cuddly, we wouldn’t suggest sticking your arm in from of one as he does in the video. We also wouldn’t suggest feeding a gator because, in most states, it’s actually illegal. In LA, however, it isn’t outlawed. Though certain areas have banned the practice.

In one such area, an LA wildlife touring company went under fire in 2014 after a customer posted a video of a director getting into the water with a swarm of alligators and feeding them by mouth.

The clip went viral and caught the attention of state wildlife officers, who opened a full investigation. While officials didn’t press charges, they did frown and the practice.

Attacks have become increasingly more common over the years as people move into areas with large alligator populations. And feeding the animals is one of the main reasons for the problem.

“Feeding can occur either directly or indirectly by feeding turtles, fish, birds, or other animals, or by cleaning fish and/or disposing of the guts in the water. Feeding alligators is illegal and creates a potentially dangerous situation,” said the South Carolina DNR.”If alligators are fed or lose their appropriate fear of people, SCDNR has a statewide nuisance alligator removal program that the public can call any time. Alligators that are exhibiting regular nuisance behavior are removed.”