Looking for a nice stuffed baby alligator posed so it looks like it's waving hello for your living room or bedside table? Better act fast.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission proposed a new set of alligator-related rules Thursday, and, in addition to suggesting changes like a new 24-hour hunting season, the Commission moved to outlaw the sale of stuffed baby alligators that depict "an unnatural body or body part positioning." That means those irresistible stuffed standing--and yes, waving--baby alligators would become illegal.
The point, FWC says, is to shut down the tacky tourist trade that encourages baby alligators to be killed off and turned into trinkets.
"It includes anything that an alligator can't or won't do," Harry Dutton, the organization's Alligator Management Program coordinator, tells Tampa Bay Online. "It's meant to address the curio shop stuff."
It's not clear just how much South Florida alligator tradesmen will be affected. An employee Miami's Gator Park tells Riptide that baby alligator feet and hands were commonly sold but that he "had never seen a whole baby alligator stuffed."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Sam Haught, owner of Wild Florida Airboats & Wildlife Park in Kenansville, near Orlando, says his park sold a number of alligator heads but stayed away from selling the babies. His business, he said, stands by the FWC, including on the proposed new ban on the stuffed little guys. "We would 100 percent support changes to rules like that," he says.
A final vote on the new rules will be held in June at the Commission's next meeting in Fort Myers. They are expected to pass without opposition.