alligators

Alligator Bites Reach Record High In Florida

Aug 6, 2017

Florida is seeing a record high number of reported alligator bites this summer. With 2016 only seeing 7 alligator bites, 2017 has already surpassed that number with sixteen total so far this year. With five months left in the year, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worries the warmer weather is pushing alligators into inhabited parts of Florida.

Orlando leads in "Nuisance Gator" Complaints in Florida

May 17, 2017

Orlando topped the number of nuisance alligator complaints last year, according to data from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program.

Across Florida, 12,772 nuisance gator complaints came in leading to the death of more than 8,000 gators in 2016. That’s a higher number than the previous five years but not unprecedented. More than 230 nuisance gator complaints were made in Orlando. Ron Ziemba traps gators for FWC in Osceola County and thinks he may know why Orlando topped the list.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Artist Jenna Efrein loves the Everglades. Since moving to South Florida, she's spent a lot of time exploring the ecosystem and learning about the challenges it faces. That passion -- and 10 years of gymnastics experience -- have shaped an installation of her work on display now at the Wynwood Building.

A Florida golfer made the shot of his life with a putter when he used it to escape an alligator that had grabbed him by the ankle.


Rocky Jim Jr. has been an alligator wrestler for over 31 years. He learned from his father, Rocky Jim Sr., and comes from a family of alligator wrestlers: his grandfather, Bobby Tiger and his uncles, Bo Jim and Elvis “Tippy” Cypress. 

Rocky dropped out of school when he was in the 6th grade and began working maintenance jobs with his father. He later worked in his brother’s workshop, and eventually began working as a handyman at the reservation. 

Creative Commons via Flickr / Users: Adam Axon, USDA, William Warby and John Tann

What happens when you expose a Florida resident to mosquitoes, screw worms or gators?

Crystal Chavez / WMFE

A Lakeland woman says Christmas came early for her when she got a state permit to keep her pet Rambo – a motorcycle-riding, leather-wearing alligator she’s had for more than a decade.

National Parks Service

New research shows for at least 8 million years the American alligator has remained virtually unchanged by evolution, making it among the world’s oldest species.

 

The species may be up to 6 million years older than previously thought.

The University of Florida research shows the American alligator is much older than humans, who only are a few hundred-thousand years old.

Lead researcher Evan Whiting says only a few sharks and other species are as old as alligators.

The father of a toddler killed in an alligator attack at Walt Disney World reached his hands inside the animal's jaws as he tried to pry them open and free his son.

According to a final report released Monday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the alligator sank teeth into 2-year-old Lane Graves' skull and neck before drowning him on June 14th. The boy's submerged body was recovered the next day.

Firefighters at Walt Disney World were warned to stop feeding alligators at one of the resort's fire stations two months before an alligator killed a toddler.

It was a landmark month for breeding endangered animals at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

The park recently welcomed six baby Galapagos tortoises and an Indian gharial, similar to a crocodile, representing the first time that either species has been successfully bred at the park. 


Update at 4:30 p.m. ET. Body of 2-year-old is recovered:

Police investigators recovered the body of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged away by an alligator at a Florida resort on Tuesday.

After hours of searching, police located and euthanized several alligators. They eventually found the intact body of Lane Graves.

During a news conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the boy was found not far from where he was taken by the alligator. "There's no doubt in my mind that the boy was drowned by the alligator," Demings said.

Wilson Sayre

This past weekend was the start of the two-and-a-half-month alligator-hunting season in Florida. It was also the first time the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge opened its gates to recreational gator hunting. It's the first wildlife refuge in the country to do so.

Of the 1,203 people who applied, only 11 were granted permits, each for two gators. Half of the permit holders started their hunt Friday at the much-anticipated opening.

THE CONTROVERSY

nps.gov

If you’re an outdoorsy type, Florida wildlife officials have a job for you.

But there’s a catch. Actually, several catches – all with very sharp teeth.

In the United States, the only place you’ll find an American crocodile in the wild is South Florida. It used to be an endangered species.

But not anymore.

STEPHEN M. DOWELL / MCT

Gov. Rick Scott decided that using live alligators as fundraising bait wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Without explanation, Scott’s re-election campaign on Tuesday abruptly called off a planned “private gator hunt” in New Smyrna Beach on Oct. 18 for donors willing to pay $25,000 a head. The invitations said: “Space is limited.”

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