When Alligators Fight Back

Besides the stingray, the American alligator has got to be my favorite animal, and living (as well as growing up) in Florida; I've definitely seen my share and even caught that baby one many months back (see the video HERE). I think they're one of the most beautiful creatures and nothing pisses me off more than when I turn on the news and see that some trapper is catching and killing a so-called nuisance alligator that was innocently swimming around a lake or canal in a residential area. That's the protocol down here for some reason...

So after all these years of persecution, harassment, displacement, and often death, the alligators have finally gotten together and said enough is enough and launched a retaliation against the humans that have caused them so much grief. As we all know (probably all to well), in a war-time scenario, it's hard to differentiate the enemy from the innocent and this fact holds true in the animal kingdom because this week alone, there have been a total of 3 fatal alligator attacks in Florida.

All jokes aside, it's definitely a tragedy to meet your demise at the hands (or teeth in this case) of an animal that sees you as nothing more than an opportunity. As humans, it bothers us that a so-called lesser creature can take a life and get away with it so what do we do? We bait large hooks with pig liver and wait for the alligators to strike and then we drag them ashore, shoot them in the head, and cut open their bloated bellies to reveal the contents of their stomachs. Why?

Do cows, pigs, chicken, or fish ever come knocking down our doors attempting to disembowel us looking for traces of their species in our stomachs? I guess I'm just more of an animal lover than I realized because this business of hunting down and murdering alligators (who in all reality have the right-of-way) looking for human remains is freaking ridiculous if not a little narcissistic. Yes, I believe if a person kills another person in any type of pre-meditated or heat-of-the-moment fashion, they deserve to die, but if an animal kills a human being, especially a WILD animal IN ITS HOME ENVIRONMENT; no. Let it go and chalk it up to one for good old abused and mistreated Mother Nature. Did any of these women deserve to die? No, not any more than the alligators but where's their voice? If I was attacked by the mama gator when I plucked her baby out of the water back in October, would I deserve it? Absolutely. Would I personally want revenge or wish death upon the alligator? Absolutely not.

In the past 20 years, there has been so much expansion, development, and construction throughout the state wetlands of Florida that shit like this was bound to start happening. I really don't know what the hell I believe in nowadays, but I do know that the alligators were here first and that we should respect that fact and look at these 3 tragic incidents as a wake-up call to US. As it's been said, for every action there is a reaction and over the years, the expansion of civilization in Florida has caused the alligator to become the aggressive reptile of modern folklore. We've drained and built, drained and built, and inadvertently fucked up an already fragile eco-system so what the hell did these land developers of yester-year expect? If the families of these women want to be pissed, that's who they should be pissed at; the land developers. Each and every one of them. Again, I'm not trying to make a joke or a mockery of a tragedy (not obviously anyways) and I hate to pull an "I told you so" but as a self-proclaimed intelligent society, we should have looked at the potential consequences of our actions many, many years ago.

So do I eat alligator? Yes, it's quite tasty and chewy and in other words; delicious. Do I have a taxidermied alligator head on my desk? I most certainly do and his name is Travis and I bought him at a truck stop on none other than Alligator Alley (I-75). Am I part of the problem of creating the nuisance alligator by feeding them raw chicken when nobody's around? Perhaps, but also I never filled a chunk of swamp with concrete and built another Wal-Mart thus driving the gators into more civilized areas...

suggested reading:
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
The American Alligator (US Fish & Wildlife Service)
Alligator Management (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commision)
The Gator Hole (site dedicated to the American Alligator)