Wanted: Crocodile Handlers In Florida; Seeks $25-Per-Hour Wranglers

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission seeks $25-per-hour crocodile handlers, and they say the jobs are available to people with no experience.

The agency employs just one crocodile response agent but they are looking to add 4 or 5 more part time ones with no experience needed, to respond to calls by residents in the Florida Keys that have a crocodile on their property.

Crocodile response agents “assist in handling human-American Crocodile conflicts,” wrote Carli Segelson, spokesperson for the Florida commission’s south region, in an email response to questions. “Their duties include, site visits, captures, translocations, carcass recoveries, other duties as needed.”

Once extinct the Florida salt water crocodile is starting to make a comeback, and more encounters with humans have been occurring. In 1975 numbers were down to about 300 and are now estimated to be up to 1,500.

The FWC says that learning to handle crocodiles is easy and they will train anyone to be able to safely handle then and are wanting to earn the $25 an hours, but need to be able to respond to a call at anytime.

“There is inherent danger handling any live crocodilian,” wrote Segelson. “However, our (agents) are taught safe handling and transport techniques to protect them and the crocodile from injury. Consequently, the danger is minimal.”

Though state conservation biologist Lindsey Hord told residents at a Islamorada council meeting that there has never been a reported attack from a crocodile on human in Florida the reptiles that can grow up to 15 feet do pose a bit of danger.

“Do we wait until a child gets hurt until we do something?” asked Councilman Dave Purdo asked at the meeting. “Is that what we’re waiting for, until a child gets hurt?”

Lindsey told the council, according to “We can live with these things. It just requires acceptance of the fact that they are going to be here, and to accommodate that, taking some common sense safety steps.”

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