FWC Officers Undergo Intense Alligator Trapping Training

Alligators, the potentially lethal lizards, are on the move. 180 pounds of muscle and teeth, with a chomp so powerful, one bite can shatter bones. (Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016)

Alligators, the potentially lethal lizards, are on the move. 180 pounds of muscle and teeth, with a chomp so powerful, one bite can shatter bones.

It's alligator mating season and because they're motivated by finding a mate, they're turning up in odd places.

RAW VIDEO: Wednesday was training day at Everglades Gator Farm in Homestead. FWC officers learned techniques on how to handle alligators. (Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016)

"We've found them in public bathrooms, called out to people's homes, in their pools, on their cars, sometimes we've found them in their cars," explained Lorenzo Velos with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The newest crop of FWC officers has to know how to deal with those situations. Wednesday was training day at Everglades Gator Farm in Homestead.

Rope techniques were taught, along with how to blind the gator, in order to capture it. Keeping your digits is key, so hand placement is very important.

The trapping portion can be easy, at least compared to actually carrying the gator, especially one that's not cooperating.

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For a 10.5-foot alligator, it took four officers to wrestle it and six to carry the 400-pounds of combustible power.

One of the officers being trained was rookie Juan Blanco, who has already responded to five calls in the field. He's had classroom training, but he said hands-on training has taught him so much more.

"Better techniques on how to keep my fingers on my hands," Blanco said.

The alligators caught are either relocated in the Everglades or taken to a farm. It may look like the animal is being hurt, but this is actually very humane, according to experts.

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The techniques taught focus on safety. In the end, officers want go home with limbs intact, and the gators get a new home.

A nuisance gator is a different story. A nuisance gator is not afraid of people and has to be euthanized; they cannot be brought to a gator farm.

However, that nuisance gator is still used for science research and taken to the FWC biology offices in Davie. They do everything from weigh it, use the meat and the hides. They also check to see what it's been eating, which can tell a lot about the eco-system.