Florida / North America / Pic of the Week / Southeastern USA

“Pic of the Week”, November 13, 2015: Gator wrestling, Florida

05 Gator wresting

Alligators are fascinating animals.  Large, primitive, with alert eyes that, like any good predator’s, follow you wherever you go.  I must admit that when they fix their unblinking eyes on me, the hair stands up on my neck.  They are six inches long when they’re born, but as fully grown adults can reach a length of almost 20 ft (more than 6 meters).  Once a threatened species, they’ve recovered and you’ll find them in freshwater swamps and lakes of the southeast.

06 Gator wrestingI recently visited Orlando with my father and one day was spent at the fun old-fashioned amusement park, Gatorland.  There are several shows at this venue, including one featuring alligator wrestling.  This is not a violent sport but consists of an experienced trainer subduing alligators that are about 2 meters long.  Far from monsters, they are nonetheless strong and can be dangerous.

For a small fee, anyone can “wrestle” a gator, which basically means sitting on the back of a gator which has a strong rubber band around its mouth, so it can’t bite you.  But it could still buck you off and whack you with its powerful tail, so its not without slight risk.  The fees are used to feed the animals at the park, and you’re always under the supervision of a trainer, so it’s quite safe.

The following clip gives you a feel for some of the action:

And a few more images of Gator wrestling….

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