Merely a few hours after a victim on Sanibel was bitten on the leg, a video shows an eight-foot gator being pulled from the water on Rabbit Road.
The trappers then went across the street and caught a seven-foot alligator because it wasn’t entirely clear which gator attacked the victim.
Sanibel Fire told WINK News a third gator was too small, so trappers didn’t take it away. But the two that were caught by trappers are believed to have been in the pond for around 20 years. Neighbors were of the opinion the reptiles are friends rather than monsters.
Trappers lassoed the eight-foot alligator, dragging it out of the pond. Wasting no time, the alligator spun into a death roll, fighting against the trappers with everything it had. Trappers patiently let the animal exhaust itself before getting it into a truck and taking it away.
Trappers wrapped up a second gator measuring seven feet long in another pond across the road and took it away.
The American Alligator has one of the strongest bites at nearly 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) in the animal kingdom. However, because gators are relatively weak when opening their jaws, trappers can use a rope or strong tape to keep them shut.
“If they’re too big, over six feet, then they’re probably being euthanized, which is a very upsetting thing to me,” Sanibel Fire medical director Dr. Benjamin Abo said.
Two gators getting punished for a singular minor bite.
“This is their home. They belong here,” a neighbor named Mos said.
“It’s really sad,” said Mos.
Abo told WINK News the victim works for a company subcontracted by the state.
“I find that they usually don’t get any training whatsoever. They get the contracts; then they get the workers to come out and do the dirty work,” Dr. Abo said.
Tuesday afternoon, the same workers were back cleaning debris from the pond and sitting in a small boat. Dr. Abo said that having no training is a recipe for disaster.
“The fire chief for Sanibel fire and I were just worried because there is no one advocating for them. They get the workers; they’re out there. They’re working hard not giving proper supplies. Because if it’s not mandated, then a lot of the companies won’t do it,” Abo said.
But, that could be avoided.
“But no one’s advocating to make sure that they’re educated or equipped for it,” Dr. Abo said.
Neighbors told WINK News they hope the workers get the training they need.
But Dr. Abo is afraid something like this could happen again.
“This is going to happen again,” Dr. Abo said.
Dr. Abo said he and the fire chief are trying to get a list of the contracted groups to talk to them about safety. In the meantime, he plans to make flyers talking about safety in the water and pass them out anywhere her can.