News story

Forklift helps trappers move alligators

Thursday, 13 May 2010 ( #461 ) - Gulfport, MS, United States
Trappers used a forklift to transport two large alligators from a bayou in a populated Gulfport neighbourhood. "The trapping happened on 7 May, and I believe it lasted less than two hours," says Ryan LaFontaine, public information officer with the city of Gulfport. Licensed by the state, trappers Sam Searcy and Chris Husley were contracted through Ricky Flint, a specialist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to remove alligators that had become a nuisance. A news broadcast of ABC affiliate WLOX in Biloxi, Mississippi, available on the station's website, shows the trappers at work and the role of the forklift in moving the bull alligators and placing them on a transport trailer. In addition to the forklift, the trappers used heavy roll to wrangle the 13-foot (3.9m) and 10-foot (3m) alligators from the Brickyard Bayou and then wrapped duct tape around each animal's snout to prevent any bone-crushing bites. The alligators' familiarity with humans requires the trappers to kill the animals rather than relocate them. The hides and the meat were sold. Gulfport, the second-largest city in Mississippi, is the east coast home for the US Navy Seabees construction battalion.