Man accused of animal cruelty in Collier preserve faces judge


One of two men accused of animal cruelty faced a federal judge Monday.

Investigators were first alerted by the Youtube video, where Torres appears to be wrangle and kiss an alligator in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

Alfredo Lopez de Queralta and Javier Torres are facing charges of eight counts of unlawful possession of an alligator and taking two Florida panther cubs. The charges are at the federal and state level.

“That’s very dangerous and I think that’s horrible,” said Fort Myers resident Finn Carter.

Queralta is accused of filming the Youtube videos, and pleaded not guilty in court.

“Seeing videos like that, that just makes people want to do that more,” said Fort Myers resident Jevon Holmes. “It makes it seem like it’s okay to do.”

Carter said he was shocked by the alleged treatment of animals.

“Those are innocent animals,” Carter said. “They just trying to live, we just trying to live.”

Torres is expected to face a federal judge next month.

The alleged incident occurred in 2017, but the timeline of events leading up to their arrests were unclear.

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