VIDEO: ETX kids wrangle gators over holiday weekend

CNN
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 1:17pm

An alligator-catching contest in South Texas is a big draw over the long holiday weekend.

The Gator Rescue Wildlife Park in Beaumont holds the annual event.

Trent Savage had a hard time finding the elusive alligator he was trying to catch in a muddy pond on Saturday.

"When gators go underwater it's really hard to see them," said Savage.

With time running out, he finally got him.

His technique?

"Try to find the gator's tail and then find the body so I could lift him up," said Savage.

Trent's mom brought him to Beaumont from Houston to take part in Gator Country's seventh annual Kids Gator Rescue tournament.

It's just something that's really fun to be able to watch the kids do because they'd never get to do this anywhere else.

They reach under the muddy water and the alligator moves, to watch their reaction is really special.

It's gator country owner Gary Saurage's favorite time of the year.

We're really busy at what we do, we're always goin but this is the day we slow things down and let the kids play.

Kids in different age groups competed to see who was fastest at catching gators in a pool, a tire pit and a culvert.

The bigger the kid, the bigger the gator and this is the type of gator the youngest kids here are trying to catch.

It's three-feet long, weighs about 10 pounds and this one's about three-years-old.

Just to be safe, all the gators had their mouths taped shut for safety, except one.

Big Al, the largest alligator in captivity in the state of Texas.

He's 13-feet, four-inches long, weighs half a ton and is 80-years-old.

Visitors got a chance to see him at the end of the day.

Just a very special animal, to be this close to this animal, you'll probably never do that again in your life.
 

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