Damaged alligators people in Florida
Alligator hunting in Florida
A film by Heiko De Groot
Blue sky over Florida, the sun is shining. The fish are jumping in the pond next to the house. An idyll - if there wasn't an alligator hidden in the reeds. The homeowner is upset. She has a little terrier in her arms and tells how her last dog was eaten by an alligator. So your uninvited bather has to go. A job for Scot Barbon. He is one of Florida's forty state-approved alligator trappers. They are the vigilante groups who always move out when people feel disturbed by armored lizards. Scot Barbon is actually a full-time lawn care professional, but since people have been digging deeper and deeper into the nature of Florida with their houses, he can hardly save himself from alligator emergency calls.
An alligator in the garden pond. This is not uncommon in Polk County West, in central Florida. There are several hundred lakes and countless canals in an area of around 2,000 square kilometers. For millions of years the alligators lived undisturbed until humans came. Hundreds of new residents from the rest of the United States move to the Sunshine State every day. The habitat of the lizards is becoming scarcer. That is why there is an increasing number of "neighborhood disputes" between humans and animals. Concerned citizens call the alligator trapper Scot Barbon to remove a suspected problem animal from civilization. But Scot Barbon does not understand every complaint about alligators, e.g. animals that are just four feet short. "They don't harm anyone and don't have to be removed," he says, although he earns his living with them. Because he takes every animal caught to a processing plant that uses meat and hides and sells them on.
However, alligators are not harmless. On the island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida, adult specimens caused two deaths within three years. As a result, 150 animals were killed in the natural paradise over a period of a few weeks. But the mood has calmed down a bit since we learned how important alligators are for the ecological balance. Without large alligators, the number of birds decreases because predators such as raccoons can reproduce unhindered. That is why a group of residents is now campaigning for peaceful coexistence with the alligators.
"360 ° - GEO Reportage" accompanies Scot Barbon on his hunt for the alligators in the front yard.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
16.5.2010: Islay's whiskey secret
23.5.2010: Alligator hunting in Florida
30.5.2010: Brazil - Buffalo on the patrol
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