I think we can all agree that alligators are some of Florida‘s most fearsome creatures. They sport dozens of sharp teeth and the capability for swallowing food whole. However, one man brutally attacked a peaceful alligator and its nest with mowing equipment. Later it was revealed the animal suffered mortal wounds, and its nest was completely demolished.
The video cuts off before the actual gruesomeness capturing the innocent predator’s maiming. However, I do still want to warn Outsiders that it’s, regardless, quite disturbing to watch.
Thanks to a nearby witness who captured the attack on the gator, the offender, Steven Dariff (59), faces legal punishment for purposely and repeatedly attacking an animal with unnecessary force.
According to Click Orlando, the attack took place June 10th, in Daytona Beach off of Tamoka Farms Road. After the witness recorded the attack on the 6-foot gator and its nest, they contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In the video, viewers see that Dariff dropped the large mower blade on the alligator’s back not once, but twice.
The Alligator’s Attacker Awaits a Sentence
Supposedly, the man had been using the equipment to clear brush from around a retention pond. Prior to the attack on the alligator, it had been sunbathing on the bank near the nest further up. At first, the witness stated he saw Dariff scare off the gator when the mower’s blades hit the water. However, because the alligator was probably guarding its nest, it crawled back up onto the bank. That’s when Dariff turned back around to pursue the animal.
Following the alligator’s suffering, Dariff then drops the mower blades on top of the anima’s nest. The debris pile hiding the alligator’s eggs was entirely destroyed. The outlet stated that, upon FWC arrival, the alligator, which had crawled back into the water, suffered numerous mortal wounds. These include severe head lacerations and major deformities to its skull and eyes. It also suffered intense wounds on its back, leg, and tail. Due to the severity of the animal’s wounds, authorities humanely put the animal down.
Dariff has been charged with three counts of killing an alligator and destroying alligator eggs in addition to intentionally killing an animal with the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering. All of which in the southern state is considered a third-degree felony.
Dariff is currently out of jail on bond, according to WESH News, and awaits trial.
Florida’s Gators Aren’t Always On the Offensive
While we frequently hear about alligator attacks in the media, the great animals aren’t always on the hunt for a human snack. Typically, the animals attack more so when provoked. For example, one group of recreational fishermen had the living daylights scared out of them earlier this month by a Florida gator.
Regardless, the alligator posed no harm to the group as it continued to relax in the shallow waters off of the bank.
The non-attack proves that the state’s alligators aren’t typically predatorial when it comes to humans as this creature, in particular, was only resting a few feet away from where the group stood. The recorded clip shows the alligator gently raises its head, but most likely out of curiosity as I’m sure it didn’t expect to be caught on video that day.