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‘Gator Boys’ bring alligator wrestling show to Gulf Coast Gator Ranch

By Susan Ruddiman

Gulf Live– The Gulf Coast Gator Ranch in the swamps of east Moss Point has a new attraction over the next two weekends.

The “Gator Boys” from the Animal Planet reality show are doing alligator wrestling demonstrations three times a day on Saturday and Sunday through July 8, said Curtis Silver, co-owner of the ranch.

“We built a special facility for these guys — a swimming pool and bleachers that holds 50-something people,” Silver said.

Their first shows were June 23 and 24.

“We had 100 people for our last show on Sunday,” Silver said.

The “Gator Boys” are Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle, who work in Florida getting rid of nuisance alligators through their business Gator Boys Alligator Rescue. They capture the alligators with their bare hands and move them to safety before the trappers arrive, who want to kill the animals and sell their skin and meat.

The art of alligator wrestling comes from the Seminole Indians, Silver said. Their show at the gator ranch is educational, as well as entertaining.

“I’ve owned the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch for nine years, and have never seen this before,” Silver said. “One guy will wrassle the alligator and another one will let you know the technique.”

Bedard and Riffle have five people with their crew — three other men and two women. They select what alligators they want to wrestle, Silver said, ranging from 7-footers up to 9-footers.

Segments of the “Gator Boys” show also are being filmed during these shows.

“It’s a family-oriented show. The whole alligator farm is a learning experience,” Silver said.

In addition to the alligator wrestling shows, the ranch offers walking and swamp boat tours, and has a fully stocked concession stand, he said.

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