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Reality TV star wrestles gator in Jackson

By David Elliott

WLOX13– It’s one of the hottest shows on cable TV. Every Sunday night on Animal Planet, professional alligator trappers Paul Batard and Jimmy Riffle trap nuisance alligators on the show “Gator Boys.”

The duo is based in the Florida Everglades and Riffle has spent the past few weeks at the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch in Jackson County.

A group of kids watched in amazement this week as Riffle wrestled an alligator.

“One of my helpers over here will be my spotter,” Riffle told the kids. “When I’m wrestling, if I get bit by the gator, he gets the gator off of me.”

Riffle is a professional nuisance alligator trapper. He said alligators are amazing creatures and he respects the giant reptiles. 

“It’s not something you just get up one morning and say, ‘I’m going to wrestle an alligator.’ It’s something in your blood. I’ve been doing this since I was 11 years old. They’ve been on the planet for more then 250 million years. They are the ultimate predator. It’s a living dinosaur.”

Allan Adams, owner of the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch, is excited about having these reality TV legends at his place teaching his staff how to wrestle gators.

“The Gator Boys are big. It’s going to help my business tremendously. We’re already seeing signs of it.”

Gator Boys airs Sunday nights at 8pm on Animal Planet. Riffle and Bedard are trained and constantly tell people not to go near gators. On the show, the alligators they trap are released back into the wild.

Riffle and his crew will be wrestling gators the next few Saturdays and Sundays at the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch.

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