A routine traffic stop in Punta Gorda, Florida, got a little weird early Monday morning when a young woman pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants.
According to NBC2 News, deputies pulled over a pickup truck being driven by a 22-year-old man at roughly 3:15 a.m. A 25-year-old female passenger was also present. The deputies reportedly pulled the truck over after witnessing it fail to come to a complete stop at a sign located on Oil Well Road before turning onto Tamiami Trail.
The incident report from the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office reveals that the man and woman had just left the Oil Well Road underpass. When asked by the deputies what the pair were doing out and about at this time of night, the young man told the officers that they were collecting snakes and frogs.
After issuing the driver with a violation for running a stop sign, he asked to see what animals the duo had collected during their early morning ventures. The officer proceeded to explain that it was his duty to make sure the pair hadn't picked up any wildlife they were not allowed to disturb or transport.
The driver complied with the officer's request, and opened the bags near him. These bags contained clothing and other personal items. The backpack placed near the female passenger, however, was full of wildlife. When she opened this backpack, the officer discovered that it housed a softshell turtle -- as well as 42 small three-striped mud turtles.
It wasn't until the Charlotte County deputies asked the woman if she had anything else in her possession that they needed to be aware of that she pulled a a foot-long baby alligator from her yoga pants. She would then proceed to rest the alligator on the bed of the pickup truck.The deputies contacted the Florida Fish Wildlife and Conservation Commission (FWC), who arrived at the scene just before 4 a.m. to investigate the situation.
According to the FWC, both the alligator and the two species of turtles in the woman's possession were native to the area. They were, however, regulated animals. Both the woman and the driver received a citation for having the animals in their possession -- as well as for violating the limits for bagging reptiles. The turtles and the alligator were seized from the pair before being safely released back into the wild.
Unfortunately, the police report did not elaborate on the details surrounding the motivation driving the duo to collect the creatures at such a strange hour.