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.
Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 4:59 pm
Is it OK to eat alligator on Fridays during Lent? That question isn't just rhetorical in Louisiana, which has large populations of both Catholics and gators.
"Alligator's such a natural for New Orleans," says Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Bakery, which serves a mean alligator sausage po boy sandwich. "Alligator gumbo, jambalaya. I mean, it's a wonder that alligator isn't our mascot, you know?"
If you live in Southern Louisiana you don’t have to be Catholic to know that the Friday Fish is a New Orleans tradition. From fried catfish to potato salad and savory sides, there are plenty of meatless options for the faithful foodies.
But what if you’re just not in the mood for fish on Friday? Well, there are some less obvious Lenten options in the Crescent City.
State wildlife and fisheries officials have extended the East Zone wild alligator harvest season through Oct. 4.
Robert Barham, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, approved the extension Tuesday.
The scheduled opening of the East Zone season was delayed from Aug. 29 until Sept. 1 due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac, which reached hurricane strength before landfall. Resulting flooding and displacement of residents prompted the extension.
St. Mary Parish sheriff's investigators are looking for three men accused of taking $6,500 and cell phones from alligator buyers in Morgan City.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Traci Landry says three alligator buyers were winding up a day of purchases shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday when a dark gray four-door car arrived. Two passengers, one armed with a gun, got out and ordered the buyers onto the ground. Both wore blue jeans and had blue bandannas over their faces.
State wildlife and fisheries officials are postponing the 2012 wild alligator lottery season on the Pearl River, Joyce, Manchac and Maurepas swamp wildlife management areas because of the effects of Hurricane Isaac.
The season was scheduled to open on Saturday but has since been pushed back to Wednesday, Sept. 12.
All alligator hunters are urged to verify that their selected buyer will be open to buy harvested alligators, prior to beginning any harvest effort.
Alligator hunters are now free to pursue their quarry across the state, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The 2012 Wild Alligator Harvest Season opened in the state's West Zone today, following the East Zone opening this past Saturday. However, due to the impact of Hurricane Isaac, hunters in some areas may have to wait until floodwaters recede and power is restored, the state said.
Alligator hunters are advised to verify their buyers have opened before actually taking any alligators, and to use extreme caution when hunting in flooded areas.