Floridians Now Renting Alligators to Swim in Pools for Kids' Parties

While the rest of the world may throw a side-eye our way and think, "Oh, Florida, you backwards swamp," the native Floridian in us reads this kind of a news story and thinks, "Umm ... this is kind of awesome."

Apparently a Florida entrepreneurial genius, Bob Barrett, owner of Alligator Attractions in Madeira Beach, has come up with a hot new trend for entertainment of kids' pool parties: letting actual alligators loose in the pool to swim with the children.

"You say, 'Well, we're gonna have a party,'" Barrett told Bay News 9. "They go, 'That's nice.' But you say, 'We're going to have a pool party with a gator.' They go, 'What?' Everybody comes."

Indeed, where is our invite?

The alligators used are juveniles, and their mouths are taped shut during the parties. They also have fun names like Burger, Fido and Kermit. Barrett claims that he teaches participants alligator safety first, and says that the chlorine doesn't bother the gators.

"We had the idea of, well, if we do a home, and they have a pool, let's put the gator in the pool," Barrett claims. "People were very leery at the beginning, but it has taken off and people just enjoy it."

Of course, not everyone thinks it's the greatest idea. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is now investigating the idea after news of the parties hit the web.

The FWC tells Bay News 9 that while all of Barrett's permits are up to code, it plans to inspect the business. Barrett and his staff say that's just fine and they plan to cooperate.


Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >