Alligator pool parties make national splash - FOX 13 News

Alligator pool parties make national splash

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MADEIRA BEACH (FOX 13) -

Bob Barrett is becoming the talk of the town.  He's been all over the national news, and for good reason -- he's the guy behind the unique pool parties.

"Go back to when you were 11 years old. If you could have a pool party with a gator, you'll never forget that," Barrett said.

Barrett has run Alligator Attractions in Madeira Beach for three years.  He started the alligator pool parties two years ago on a whim.

"Started small, but this last summer, we've done 100 percent more," Barrett said.

Of course one of the biggest questions, is this safe?  Bob says the alligators' mouths are taped shut and they are used to being around people. He tells us there's never been an accident.

He also gives safety and education lessons beforehand to acclimate human to critter and vice versa.

So would you swim with a gator?

"Oh yeah, I would. I'm not scared of them," Joseph Moisell said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife has looked into the practice and says what Barrett is doing is legal. He has the permits and licensing.  FWC says they don't recommend it, but they can't stop it.

"Oh, these people get the idea, 'they grab a wild alligator and put it in the pool.' Excuse the pun, but this is a totally different animal," Barrett added.

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