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  • Writer's pictureShelby Higgenbottom

Duck Winters unveils plans for 2nd gator farm next to local elementary school

BY Shelby Higgenbottom

There’s no denying the allure of a pair of massive reptilian jaws snapping down on hundreds of pounds of raw meat. Nobody knows this better than local entrepreneur Duck Winters, owner and founder of one of Fakahatchee’s most respected tourist attractions ‘Duck Winters' presents: Gatorstravaganza.’ When I met up with him he was feeding his charges tossing big hunks of flesh by the pound into water soon turned red and muddy by the voracious gators.

“Oh, we get people in by the busloads- lot of Chinese tourists, definitely a lot of children.” said Duck Winters. “The children seem to like it the most. That’s why it just made sense for me to buy the land next to Beauregard Elementary and put in an expansion farm there.

Kids love dinosaurs, gators are just the modern day equivalent of those old thunder beasts. I don’t get why people are up in arms about it.” He shakes his head wistfully, “This town’s built on gators.”

City Councilmember Richard Baysbahn agrees, “Fakahatchee has done well with one gator farm. Seems to me a second farm would mean we’re doing twice as well. But you know democracy rears its head. ”

Sally-gator -the star of 'Gatorstravaganza'

And rear it shall as the gator farm has found itself in a very unlikely place: the voting box. “I know exactly how I’m voting,” Jeremy Rangitch proudly states as I catch him coming out of Soak and Suds. “I’m writing in, ‘maybe.’”

But some other citizens are up in arms and strongly opposing what they see as a land grab of a popular (though unofficial) public space. One man who refused to be named referred to the deal as, “about what I would expect from Duck Winters a man who continually tries to downplay my emu farm and the jobs its brought to this town.”

CrocodLyle-Lovett the singing Croc at Duck Winters'

Some are worried that a second gator farm could overshadow the rich culltural heritage of Fakahatchee.

“I’m worried we’ll only be seen as ‘that gator town’,”

a resident admitted to me. “That would overlook our beautiful main street, our mangrove swamps and our rich history of helping the Confederate states during the civil war entirely.”

A special referendum vote on the gator farm will take place next Tuesday- Don’t forget your special voting stones.

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