Marines are usually the service members conducting amphibious landings. However, an 11 second video posted to the Marine Corps Air Station New River Facebook page on Wednesday depicts a “reptilian” landing.
An American alligator was seen close enough to the Schmidt Street barracks at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to prompt local officials to re-educate the community on the potential danger these creatures may cause ― and remind Marines not to feed them.
According to the Smithsonian Institute, these alligators are commonly found on the coast in North Carolina. They can grow up to 11 feet long and can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. This story was reported on by Military.com.
“USDA wildlife biologists and conservation law enforcement officers at MCAS New River were monitoring the activities of this alligator due to its proximity to the barracks at AS-4015. Unfortunately, people have been actively feeding this alligator which is why it moved towards the camera when a piece of grass was thrown its way. Alligators are usually shy and secretive but lose their fear of people and begin to associate them with food when humans toss food their way," the post states.
"In addition to being illegal, feeding an alligator is dangerous and creates a safety issue if they become habituated to being fed by humans. In the case of this specific alligator, plans were in the works to capture and relocate it to a remote location elsewhere on the installation. The very next day, the alligator had moved to another unknown location. Here at MCB Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River, if you believe an alligator is being fed or is a safety concern, please call 911 and wildlife officials will be dispatched to investigate.”
New River public affairs officials were unavailable to comment on the video. It is also unknown if the video was taken by a military service member.
A warning from nearby Wilmington County stated that, “Alligators lose their natural fear of humans when they’re fed, making them more likely to approach people or get aggressive," Military.com reported.