The Gators of Big Cypress National Preserve

 
This alligator is not one of the standard TV program wrestling match alligators. Photo by Elizabeth VanderPutten, February 2001
Photo by Elizabeth VanderPutten, February 2001

Gator at my Feet

I've heard that alligators don't usually bother people. None the less, I took this picture leaning (not very far) out the car window. 

This alligator is not your ordinary house pet or even one of the standard Saturday night TV program wrestling match alligators.

(I will admit that the idea of seeing Jesse Ventura in a ring with this thing does have a certain perverse appeal. It looks well fed.)

For those who don't mind sharing their beds with alligators, there are eight primitive campgrounds in Big Cypress. Most are near Loop Road. None have toilets or drinkable water. All let you bunk nearby these overgrown reptiles.