July 09, 2007

Gator wrestling disappearing

Fla. alligator wrestlers becoming an endangered speciesJeremy Possman, 25, learned how to handle alligators from a member of the Miccosukee Indian tribe. He said some parents in Miccosukee tribe used to hope their children learned how to handle the animals because a good show could secure wealth for the family.

"A long time ago, especially when the tourism of Florida was skyrocketing, most alligator handlers, they could pull a good amount of money in a week just off of tips," Possman said. "Nowadays, its not as good."

Former Seminole Indian tribal chairman and alligator wrestler James Billie still keeps the finger that an alligator snatched in a jar at his house. Injuries are normal in the industry and wrestlers say they generally aren't deterred by a little blood.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella could have told you this back in 1981 and 1982, as he played a "Seminole alligator wrestler" in two films, PORKY'S 2: THE NEXT DAY, and the non-3D version of JAWS 3. There almost was no one the movie companies could find to act either as tech advisors or to double for writerfella when the action sequences were filmed. writerfella means, he likes alligators, but there was no way he was getting into the pit with even a drigged and bound 'gator, especially since both companies had their art directors selecting animals over twelve feet in length to look 'good' on camera!! Gangway, boys! This Kiowa's on his way to Schenectady!
Luckily, the scenes were shot with a Seminole roughly writerfella's size and weight. AND THEN THEY NEVER WERE USED, except for maybe 12 seconds in JAWS 3! Whew, missed it BY THAT MUCH!!
All Best
Russ Bates