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article imagePhoto Essay: To catch an alligator Special

By George McGinn     Jul 18, 2014 in Environment
North Port - When a 8-foot or larger alligator wonders into a park area where children play and pets roam, the potential for injury and death from a confrontation with the alligator is a real possibility.
People who leave their garage doors open during the winter months are sometimes attacked getting into their cars by alligators looking for a warm place to stay.
In Florida, some cities have an animal control officer who are also trained wildlife officers, allowing them in rural areas and places with lots of wildlife to handle, relocate or remove nuisance wildlife, along with their duties dealing with domestic pets.
Since wildlife is considered property of the state, only state-trained conservation or wildlife officers, or others allowed to be certified to handle all live wildlife or trap or deal with nuisance animals without having to call the state fish and game office first.
Florida police officers are also trained to capture alligators.
This photo essay is about North Port Florida's legendary animal and wildlife control officer Winn Sell, whose love of wildlife has made him well-liked and respected throughout the area.
The essay also shows that North Port police officers are not afraid to jump right in when Sell needs help with an angry and large alligator who will not go quietly.
The series below resulted from the capture of a 10-foot alligator who made a field where children and people with dogs play its home, setting up a potential for a dangerous confrontation.
The night before baited hook anchored to the ground was left to catch the gator. The next morning, North Port's animal control officer, Winn Sell, who is also a certified wildlife officer, one of few ACO's trained in both, was responsible for catching and immobilizing the alligator so the state trapper can take it either to another site or the animal is euthanized.
Photo Essay: Capturing an Alligator law enforcement style
Photo Essay: Capturing an Alligator law enforcement style
Animal and Wildlife Control Officer Winn Sell holds on for dear life as the alligator performed a co...
Animal and Wildlife Control Officer Winn Sell holds on for dear life as the alligator performed a continuous death rolls around the park to try and break free of the noose.
North Port Florida police officers jump in to help Winn Sell subdue the alligator.
North Port Florida police officers jump in to help Winn Sell subdue the alligator.
ACO and Wildlife officer Winn Sell measures out a length of duct tape to tape the alligator s mouth ...
ACO and Wildlife officer Winn Sell measures out a length of duct tape to tape the alligator's mouth shut so no one gets bitten. An alligator's bite, even a minor one, can cause deadly infections.
North Port police officer F. Myers  handcuffs  the alligator by taping its back claws together.

Eve...
North Port police officer F. Myers "handcuffs" the alligator by taping its back claws together. Even with the alligator's mouth taped up, its claws, about 3 inches long, can do great damage. Also, by taping just the back legs together, the alligator isn't strong enough to move with just its front legs.
Joined by Florida s state trapper (right)  the officers lay out the alligator. Before loading the ga...
Joined by Florida's state trapper (right), the officers lay out the alligator. Before loading the gator into the trapper's truck, the alligator is measured, weighed and tagged.
North Port Animal Control and Wildlife officer Winn Sell  with the help of two others (off photo) lo...
North Port Animal Control and Wildlife officer Winn Sell, with the help of two others (off photo) load the alligator into the back of the state trapper's truck. These alligators are either relocated or are euthanized.
More about American alligator, Wildlife conservation, wildlife control, Wildlife officer, Police officers
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