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Gators a unique challenge for cops

We are so used to gators in Florida that we expect immediate help when a gator becomes a pest. Problem is, we call law enforcement, and those guys aren't always well trained in gator confrontations, as this story in tampabay.com illustrates.

There are plenty of examples of touchy confrontations, like the deputy who shot an 8-footer when it bit a trapper's leg, or the deputy who threw a 7-footer into the back of his cruiser.

We've got a lot of sympathy for any law officer called to a reptile site. "When you get there and see an 8-foot gator that's walking around. You know, it's definitely a pucker factor," Hillsborough sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon told the Times.

But they have to go there. Just a few days ago, Vero Beach police got involved in wrestling a 5-footer off a road where cars were swerving to miss it, TCPalm reports. Yeah, we know some people relish the idea of actually running over a gator, but it's not good for your car.

Posted by Times Editor at 7:49:06 pm on May 13, 2011

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