July 26, 2013

Meet the Gator Boys

The Gator Boys are back home in the Florida Everglades! Paul Bedard (left) and Jimmy Riffle are operators of Florida’s Gator Boys Alligator Rescue and the stars of Animal Planet’s Gator Boys. Earlier this year, they relocated to Mississippi while their home base at Everglades Holiday Park was under construction. They faced some new challenges in the Bayou State's muddy waters. "The first [gator] catch I ever did there, I jumped off the air boat and sank up to my neck in the mud," Riffle told TFK. "I found no bottom to that mud, and this gator is sitting in front of me."


Now, they're back in the Florida Everglades and rescuing alligators from backyards, golf courses, swimming-pools, and swamps—a breeze compared to their experience in Mississippi's dark waters. "I was finding alligators with my face," Bedard says. "I'm glad to be [back] in that clear water of Florida." New episodes of Gator Boys start Sunday, July 28, at 10 p.m. ET, on Animal Planet.


Bedard and Riffle rescue gators without harming them—many other trappers catch them for their meat and skins—and relocate the reptiles to a wildlife sanctuary. Often, they catch the gators using only their hands! Recently, Bedard and Riffle stopped by the TFK offices with Senior, a five-foot American alligator, to talk about their work—and what you should do if you spot a gator. Watch the video above for highlights. (Reporting by Kelli Plasket / Videography by Stephanie Kraus)

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