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Fla. cracks down on 'gator parties'

  |   Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM
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MADEIRA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Florida wildlife officials said a group specializing in "gator parties" will no longer be able to let alligators swim freely in residential swimming pools.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has ordered Alligator Attraction of Madeira Beach to stop allowing its animals to swim freely in residential pools as part of "gator party" events, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Thursday.

Alligator Attraction, which has 50 of the reptiles, had been charging $175 to have handlers bring alligators under 4-feet-long to area pool parties and allow guests to hold the reptiles and take pictures with them.

The wildlife commission said it received at least 10 complaints about the practice, including a letter from the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.

Officials said the group will still be allowed to bring the gators to parties, but they must be held by workers or kept on a leash at all times.

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