Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle have become Florida's go-to guys when locals find themselves crossing paths with deadly 1,000-pound reptiles in shocking locations - like master bedrooms, swimming pools or outdoor cafes. The goal of "Gator Boys Alligator Rescue" is to capture nuisance gators and move them to safety before trappers, who kill and sell the animals for their skin and meat, get to them.
Jimmy has been working with native and exotic wildlife since he was 11 years old. Jimmy studied under Mike “Skeet” Johns at the alligator zoo Native Village in Hollywood, Florida, on the Seminole Indian reservation, working alongside dozens of experts to learn everything he possibly could about wild animals.
Skeet took Jimmy under his wing and taught him everything he knew about wildlife and how to live off the land. He taught him how to identify, appreciate and respect native animals and the land itself. From an early age, Jimmy dreamed of following in Skeet’s footsteps. Skeet became like a second father and Jimmy was a fast learner who had a special way with animals, which propelled him from a volunteer to the manager of the Native Village by age 18. Skeet passed away in 2005, and Jimmy has walked in his footsteps and now operates “GATOR BOYS Alligator Rescue,” where he uses the skills Skeet taught him.
Jimmy met his partner and friend, Paul Bedard, as a young volunteer at the Native Village, and there they learned from one another over the years. Jimmy and Paul still work side-by-side operating “GATOR BOYS Alligator Rescue” in the Florida Everglades. Jimmy said, “The learning experience I get through working with wildlife every day and meeting new people is a blessing. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.” Today, you can find Jimmy all over Florida — in bare feet — loving wildlife and looking for the next gator to wrestle. He also travels the country with his brother Andy and several of the Gator Boys performing an alligator wrestling road show.
Jimmy Riffle Photos
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