Courageous animal lovers swim with rescued alligators
Categories: AnimalsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/courageous-animal-lovers-swim-with-rescued-alligators.html
In the state of Florida, alligators are not only found in the wild, but they are also considered… uh… pests, which means that it is legal to kill them. But the kind and fearless workers at the Everglades Outpost in Hosted take in all the alligators they can, only about two hundred a year. To earn money for food for the animals, the shelter staff put on daily shows during which alligators are hand-fed and wrestled in front of an astonished crowd of spectators.
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1. 41-year-old animal photographer John Chapa has never swum with an alligator before.
2. “These guys at the farm invited me to the pool to take some pictures. They said that I can safely go down with them under water and take as many photos as I need.
3. “The first 10-15 minutes I had to get used to the fact that alligators were swimming nearby, but then I realized that they didn’t care about me, so I relaxed.”
4. “I swam to them, but they sailed away. Alligators eat only once a week, at certain times of the day. They can be quite calm and docile animals. They know what to eat and what not to, but you can't tame an alligator."
5. Christopher Gillette and Ashley Lawrence work on a farm and try to find a new home for each alligator - on a nearby farm or in a nature reserve.
6. They invited Mr. Chapa to photograph their incredible friendship with these huge reptiles. “It was a very fun day, but most importantly, I realized that these people are doing a great job. If in Florida an alligator is in someone's house, backyard or anywhere else, it will be considered a danger and they will try to destroy it.
7. “Approximately 7,000 such cases are reported every year, and by law, people have the right to go out and kill this animal. But Chris and Ashley are trying to save the reptiles. It's a completely non-profit organization - they do it to save these animals."
8. “They let us swim with the animals, but on a farm this is a very unusual event. I have been swimming with sharks for many years, so I understand wild animals. It was a great experience. My girlfriend was also calm - I think there is just no need to panic and be afraid. They don't just attack - they have to be hungry or excited to do so."