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If you have always wanted to get close to an alligator, you are in luck. Naples, Fl resident Mike Sturgill a.k.a. Gator Man Mike, will not only allow you to touch the scaly reptiles, but also, give them a big hug for a mere $5.00USD.
While it may sound dangerous, Mike insists that his Gators are quite harmless, because he has had them since they were hatchlings. His chief hugger is a five-year old 35lbs Gator called Baby Bobby. According to his owner, Baby Bobby just loves to snuggle up to humans because of their body heat.
The chief hugger also has two younger apprentice - Smaller Gators called Toby and Wally. They step in when customers are a little squeamish about hugging big bad Baby Bobby and are also in training take over as chief huggers in a few years time, when Baby Bobby becomes too big to be cuddly and will have to be retired from the business.
While Mike may be comfortable with his Gators, the officials of the City Council of Naples were a little nervous about the business, especially given that he wanted to set it up next to a candy shop in the the bustling Tin City shopping district. They only gave the green light after he agreed to muzzle the Gators' mouths with velcro and obtain a million dollar liability insurance in case, one of the reptiles decided to nip a client.
The venture, dubbed Gator Man Mike's opened its door to fans earlier this week and so far, business has been pretty decent. Baby Bobby's first customer was a brave five-year old who seemed to love every minute of it! Would you hug a Gator? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.
Resources: nbc-2.com, huffingtonpost.com, odditycentral.com