An alligator lays on the banks of a pond on the 16th hole during the first round of The Honda Classic at PGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Feb. 23, 2017. Reuters/Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

A Central Florida couple revealed that they spotted a man allegedly kicking and abusing an alligator along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on Christmas Day. The couple, Tammy and Keith Lovelle of Volusia County, were concerned about the incident and took photographs of the animal harassment.

According to local reports, the two were frequent visitors of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, a one-way, 11-mile drive featuring a variety of plant and animal species. However, on Christmas Day they were surprised to see the man attacking the gator.

"That's when I (saw) this gentleman and the lady actually messing with the gator, so I started taking pictures," Tammy said, adding that she posted the photo on the Lake Apopka North Shore Drive Facebook group's page.

Tammy said the alleged alligator abuse went on for about ten minutes before people around tried to interfere to stop the man's behavior.

"And everyone started saying things to them and finally they quit and someone actually called Orange County," Tammy reportedly said. "People need to be very mindful of their surroundings and just educate yourself on what is out there and what can happen if you don't show respect to these animals that they deserve."

Her partner, Keith added: "Orange County actually had a really good response time out there to the drive, they were there within minutes of these people doing what they did.

Keith, who is a Seminole County deputy, said Orange County investigators searched the area but could not find the man and the woman who was with him.

"I'm hoping they find who these people are and let them know this is against the law, you can't do this, you cannot harass wildlife," Tammy said, adding that she hopes the photos will help find the people involved in the harassment of wildlife.

“In the state of Florida, it’s against the law to feed, touch and catch wild alligators,” Brandon Fisher of Gatorland said. “That's a Florida statute not to harass any wildlife.”

Fisher also said alligators move slower in cooler temperatures, but people should not try to approach them even during these conditions.

“It’s a wild animal. It’s a potentially dangerous animal and something we don't want to mess with,” Fisher said.

According to a brochure posted on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) website, "State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury."

The FWC is currently investigating the claims.

An alligator floats on the surface of the water in a lagoon in a golf course in Orlando, Florida, June 19, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri