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Florida: Alligators in Pools at 'Gator Parties' Must Now Be Kept on Leashes

Back in my day (late September 2012), we used to be able to host children's pool parties where we would hire a company to place a live alligator in the pool, with the alligator's mouth taped closed, to swim around with the kids. As long as the alligator provider had a permit to exhibit the alligator, you were all set for hours of fun.

Ahh, but those were simpler times. Nowadays (two weeks later), investigators at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have deemed "gator parties" to be "unsafe for kids and parents," and ruled that alligators may no longer swim freely in residential swimming pools. The commission issued a requirement that for any future such parties, the alligators must be kept on leashes. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the new alligator-leash rule came after "gator parties" received a significant amount of press last week, which led to at least 10 complaints filed with the wildlife commission.

After reviewing the gator party concept, the commission concluded that it was important to keep captive wildlife such as alligators "under rigid supervision and control" as they "pose[] a serious public safety risk and could result in scratching of persons, loosening of tape around its mouth, or unrestrained thrashing of its tail." Bob Barrett, the owner of Alligator Attraction, which providers gators for parties, said the company's handlers already take the necessary precautions but will do whatever the commission requires.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 8, 2012 at 04:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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