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Rangers react to video showing alligator eating plastic at Saint Marks Wildlife Refuge

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 18:23:42-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. — It's been one of the most popular videos on our website over the last 24 hours. An alligator chowing down on what appears to be a piece of plastic.

The scene was captured at Saint Marks Wildlife Refuge and the video is also one of the most popular videos the refuge has ever posted.

Some of the comments we're seeing are complaints from people who think trash bins are few and far between at the refuge.

We asked Rangers about the issue and they say Saint Marks has to use very specific "bear-proof" trash bins. There are quite a few around the park.

But there's another reason that the number of trash bins is limited.

"The issue is that wildlife got used to having trash cans full of food stuff and they would start to pull them apart. So we had raccoons living around the trash cans and vulture trying to pick them apart," said Robin Will, Supervisor Rescue Ranger. "It started to become a hazard for not just us wanting to clean up all this stuff but the wildlife was getting used to being fed by people."

The park is working hard to keep the area clear from trash. They are actively looking for groups to come out and volunteer to pick up the trash.

Ranger Robin also wants to remind people if you visit St. Marks, please leave the park cleaner than you found it.