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BC Press: Reptile rescuer wrangles gator

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Tue Dec 21 06:39:50 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

THE PROVINCE (Vancouver, British Columbia) 21 December 10 Reptile rescuer to wrangle an alligator (Sam Cooper)
"I hope it goes smoothly, but it is an alligator, so you never know."
That's what Abbotsford reptile rescuer Mike Hopcraft said Monday, as he got mentally prepared to wrangle an eight-foot, 250-pound gator this afternoon.
Hopcraft said he'll take a team of people to a home in Langley to remove the gator from a small enclosure and relocate it to a new alligator enclosure at his facility in Abbotsford.
The gator was not abused, but the owner planned to leave the country and could not take the exotic pet with him, Hopcraft says.
When the owner requested Hopcraft's services, he secured a special permit from the government to keep the gator.
"It's lived in the enclosure with minimal human contact for most of its life, so it could get interesting," Hopcraft predicted.
He said three men will jump on the gator once a lasso-style rope is looped around its powerful jaws.
Hopcraft will be on the gator's back, the most dangerous position he says, and one man will be on the tail, and one on the legs.
"I'm confident but this is the biggest crocodilian species I've ever worked with," he said. "Alligators are insanely strong."
He said after the gator is grabbed, he and members of the Greater Vancouver Zoo staff will examine it before transporting it to Abbotsford.
Reptile rescuer to wrangle an alligator


   

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