The Everglades: 21st March 2015
‘When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember you came to drain the swamp’ (Cajun proverb)
When we finished the airboat ride, there are a few things to see around the Gator Park centre. They keep a few ‘gators around, presumably to cover the extremely unlikely event that you won’t see any from the airboat. They also have baby alligators to show … the general consensus was that they were ‘cute’, and it’s hard to imagine that they’d grow up into a gnarly mean killing machine.
And, there was a demonstration of alligator wrestling, as practised by the local Native American tribes, who hunted the beasts for food. Anyone who’s ever seen the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ series on TV will be familiar with the technique; you just drop on it and hold its jaws shut.
I can’t say I felt too happy seeing this procedure. I seem to remember the late Steve Irwin, on one of his programmes, saying it does stress the animal, and they only did it at Australia Zoo when it was essential for relocating or medicating, never ‘for show’.