Florida businessman rents out alligators for pool parties

Gators' mouths are taped shut

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. - Forget about ponies, bounce houses and clowns. For $175, a Florida businessman is spicing up kids' parties by bringing tiny alligators and letting them swim in clients' pools.

Bob Barrett said the gator pool parties are totally safe -- the reptiles' mouths are clamped shut with veterinary-grade tape.

He said he gives the kids a safety lesson and a science talk about gators.

Barrett runs a beachside alligator attraction where people can get their photos taken with the young reptiles; he started renting the gators to parties last summer when business was slow.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Barrett has a license to exhibit the gators and adds that people should always use caution when they come into contact with wild animals.

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