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.


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.


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.”

Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.

The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.

A 6-year-old boy's day off from school Friday left him with a vivid story to tell his classmates, after he was seized — and eventually released — by an alligator in South Florida. The attack occurred at a wildlife refuge near Boynton Beach, Fla., where Joseph Welch had taken his son, Joey, for a canoe ride.

As Welch, a native of Rhode Island who now lives in Pompano Beach, says in a Morning Edition interview airing Tuesday, his idea had been to do "something new and different."