Crocodile Wrestler Wanted: No Experience Needed
In keeping with the wave of ‘80s nostalgia that permeates all auspices of modern culture these days, did you ever dream of being Mick “Crocodile” Dundee?
Well as the numbers of saltwater crocs in South Florida reach near-pest levels, for $25 per hour, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will train you. Officials are seeking crocodile wranglers. No experience needed. And presumably requires a good sense of humour and likes brisk jogs in the park.
The ad does stipulate “experience handling crocodilians” is “preferred”.
Although Lindsey Hord, the commission’s lead biologist dealing with South Florida’s pestilent crocodiles and alligators, told the Florida Keys Keynoter: “Since few people have extensive experience with alligators or crocodiles, that’s not a prerequisite.”
Last time I was in Florida I quizzed my cabbie on how big a threat crocodiles were to the locals. And it is indeed an overbearing and constant problem, he answered fairly nonchalantly.
He regaled me with a few recent incidents, with similarly incongruous apathy. Apparently only a week prior did a 13-foot croc end up in some poor woman’s garden, ate her dog, and then stood quietly in her kitchen as she finished the washing up.
It seems this was not the only reptile to suffer a bout of wanderlust. Particularly in the Florida Keys have these mighty creatures – which grow up to 15 feet and can weigh a tonne – transgressed from threatened species to a bit of a nuisance. They are still considered protected, though number around 2,000 in the South Florida region.
As such the commission is looking for two to four more ‘Crocodile Response Agents’. Thankfully they do have one already.
The job spec? Assisting in “handling human-American Crocodile conflicts” according to a commission spokesman speaking to msnbc.com. The role would generally be investigating complaints and finding relocation spots for any reptiles under threat. Mercifully the amount of actual crocodile wrestling would be minimal – capturing the beasts is generally considered a last resort.
Still, at least you could feel justified next time you sit in a restaurant on the Florida beaches, blurting out at every conceivable opportunity: “That’s not a knife…”
Come on, you know you would.