Alligator-Loving Woman Defends Killing Them

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Kayla Garvey doesn't look like a person who would hunt, trap and play with alligators, but that's what she does.

Garvey, 24, a radiologist technician from Pompano Beach, Florida, caught the alligator-trapping bug from her  father when she was 5 years old, reports the Daily Mail.

Her father, Kevin, was a licensed alligator trapper, and Garvey grew up watching him retrieve stray gators from backyards. Since then, she has captured more than 100 of the reptiles herself.

At age 19, she also began wrestling them for entertainment. Among her tricks are the “Florida smile,” in which the gator’s mouth is pried open to display its large teeth. She also does the “face off,” an old favorite in which the entertainer’s chin is placed in the alligator’s open mouth.  “If you mess up, your face will come off,” she explains.

Garvey also has a license to hunt alligators, which she does with her boyfriend, Chris Stutz. Together they travel the state in search of gators to kill. The law only allows them to kill two gators every season.

As she explains, alligators are “just like any other pet” -- except for the killing part.

In addition to the alligators she kills while hunting, some of the ones she wrestles are sent to a processing plant where they are killed and sold for their meat and skin.

Garvey did not reveal whether or not she eats gator meat, but she does own an alligator skin purse and makeup bag, reports the Daily Mail.

Although she maintains that there is no cruelty involved in any of this, the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals disagrees.

According to the PETA website, alligators that are killed for their meat and skin “are shot or crudely bludgeoned with hammers.” The group also says “it can take the skins of four crocodiles to make a single bag.” Presumably that goes for alligators, too.

Sources: Daily Mail, PETA / Photo credit: Kayla Garvey/Google Plus

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