Disney is giving $30 to Florida trappers who catch gators on its behalf. 250 big ones have been removed from Disney World in the past 5 years.

Disney is giving $30 to Florida trappers who catch gators on its behalf. 250 big ones have been removed from Disney World in the past 5 years.
·2 min read
At right, an alligator in the water. At right, the castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom.
Disney is paying gator trappers $30 for every reptile they catch on its properties in Florida. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • Disney is enlisting trappers to help remove nuisance alligators from its properties in Florida.

  • Each gator earns a trapper $30. Some 250 have been removed from Disney in the past five years.

  • The drive started after a gator killed a toddler at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in 2016.

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There's a gator problem in Disney World, and it has nothing to do with Captain Hook. To clear Disney's properties of roaming reptiles, Florida's gator trappers are coming to the rescue, and they're paid $30 for every one they catch, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Tuesday.

The drive to rid Disney of gators started after one attacked and killed Lane Thomas Graves, 2, on a beach at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in June 2016.

The Washington Post reported in 2017 that Disney World was crawling with gators even before the tragic incident, citing figures from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that more than 220 alligators had been removed from the property from May 2006 to August 2015.

About 250 gators have been removed from Disney properties over the past five years, the Sentinel reported.

Tammy Sapp, a spokeswoman for the commission, told the newspaper that most of the gators had been euthanized. Under Disney's agreement with the trappers, they can keep the profits reaped from any leather and meat sold, the report said.

Other alligators have been sent to farms, exhibits, and zoos, while gators under 4 feet have been relocated, Sapp said.

"The FWC takes public safety seriously and uses Targeted Harvest Area (THA) permits as part of a comprehensive effort to achieve alligator management goals," Sapp told the Sentinel. "THA permits allow a managing authority to work directly with a designated FWC contracted nuisance alligator trapper, making the process for removing nuisance alligators more proactive and streamlined."

According to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there are about 1.3 million alligators in Florida. But not all of them can be considered a nuisance - alligators generally must be at least 4 feet long and pose a threat to people, pets, and property to qualify for removal under the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program.

The agency receives about 17,000 alligator complaints and removes close to 8,000 alligators every year.

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