Golden Gate gator lives new life in an Immokalee farm

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CCSO captures 'massive gator.' (Credit: CCSO)
CCSO captures ‘massive gator.’ (Credit: CCSO)

What happens to gators caught in neighborhoods?

On Friday, we showed you a dramatic video of trappers wrangling a 9-footer in Golden Gate. While that one ended up at an alligator farm in Immokalee, others are not always so lucky.

Ray Simonsen Sr. has been trapping alligators for the last seven years.

MORE: 9-foot gator captured near school bus stop in Golden Gate

“I’m one of the contract a nuisance alligator trapper,” Simonsen said, “and Collier County is my area.”

On Friday, Simonsen went out to Golden Gate Estates. When he arrived, he found the animal laying nearby the house in the shrubs. Then, he wrangled the 9-foot alligator who was not far from a school bus stop.

“It is very tough,” Simonsen said. “They are very quick.”

Once the gator is captured, its well-being is often dependent on the trapper. Simonsen said he is fortunate to deal with a couple of farms that take the live gators.

But that is not always the case for the animal.

“Versus me having to kill them right there at the doorstep,” Simonsen said.

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