A Tennessee police department that warned residents about the possible after-effects of flushing their drugs down the toilet is now clarifying that meth-gators do not exist "at this time."
On July 13, the Loretto Police Department asked people in possession of drugs -- both illegal and legal prescription drugs -- to refrain from sending the substances down sewage pipes, for fear that it could end up in retention ponds and be ingested by ducks, geese and even gators.
The post was in response to a drug bust in which they found the suspect attempting to flush 24 fluid ounces of liquid meth down the toilet.
"Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama," police quipped, referencing a June report that someone was feeding meth to a squirrel. "They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help."
After the initial post was picked up by media outlets around the world, police felt the need to make clear that meth-gators are not "real."
"We’ve had to explain that to our cousins across the pond twice," the post read.
Last week, Loretto Police Chief Bobby Joe Killen told ABC News that there have been no reports of wild animals affected by drugs in the area.
"As far as I know, there's no methed-up gators being sighted anywhere," Killen said. "It's just a joke to let people know they don't need to be flushing their drugs of any kind down the sewer system. They need to dispose of it in a proper manner."
The police department often adds jokes to its public service announcements to help get the point across, Killen said, adding that he approves all of the posts before they are published.
"We take our job seriously, but we like to joke amongst ourselves at the department," he said. "When you work eight, 10-hour shifts in our line of work, there are times when we like to laugh a little bit. Otherwise, you take you problems home."
The police department is using its newfound fame to raise money for a local charity that supports children affected by drug use by creating and selling shirts and other apparel featuring quotes from its funniest social media posts.