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9:22 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Cruelty Charge Dropped Against Swamp Tour Guide

The Breaux Bridge swamp tour guide that a national animal rights group accused of cruelty to an alligator has been cleared of one charge but admitted to a misdemeanor violation of illegal possession of an alligator.

Chester Cedars, chief prosecutor in St. Martin Parish, tells The Advocate Bryan Champagne was fined $250 plus court costs for the possession charge.

The investigation of Champagne followed a YouTube video that showed him striking the head of an alligator with boat oar while members of a tour watched.

Members of the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals forwarded the video to state and parish officials to look into the matter.

Cedars said Wednesday his investigators didn't believe they had enough evidence to support a cruelty charge.

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