Snap-happy family rescue giant crocs and gators with help of children aged three and four
This SNAP-happy family spend their days helping to save FULLY-GROWN ALLIGATORS.
The Paner family even let their children – aged just three and four – handle the gators, which are rescued and brought to their park Croc Encounters.
Since 2005, they have rescued more than 100 alligators and crocodiles in and around Tampa, Florida, USA.
The children – ‘Jungle’ John, four, and ‘Jungle’ Jake, three – help carry baby alligators around the park, participate with the animals’ feeding and fill the ponds for arriving crocs.
Mum ‘Krocodile’ Karina, 29, revealed her the children’s actions are overseen with the utmost precaution.
She said: “While our children are very comfortable around the animals they are very cautious and respectful of every one.
“Our children love the fact that alligators are huge, amazing and impressive animals that they not only get to work with at our facility, but also get to observe in the wild on a daily basis, being that they populate almost every waterway in Florida.”
At the park, Karina estimates she and her husband, John, 37, rescue roughly two alligators a month – ranging from 12 inches to 10 feet.
When Croc Encounters opened, in January 2005, it was used primarily as a sanctuary.
However, the non-profit has since gone on to become a fully-functioning entertainment park – offering the likes of self-guided tours, crocodile shows and educational events.
John, who performs a number of tricks with the alligators – such as resting the closed jaws under his chin – has been working work reptiles most of his life.
Through the work they do, the family hope to raise awareness of how Florida, an area densely populated with alligators when compared to the rest of the US, can safely respect the gators in its waterways.
John, originally from Buffalo in New York, USA, added: “The mission of Croc Encounters is two-fold – to be a haven for unwanted reptiles and be an educational facility – fighting the stigma associated with these animals and creating awareness for their plight in the wild.
“Alligators and crocodiles have been around since the time of the dinosaurs and have been relatively unchanged since then.
“They have survived when other groups did not and that has to do with the fact that they are great survivors.”