Florida man offers alligators to swim at parties

In this Sept. 24, 2012, photo, Destini Clarke kisses French Fry, a 5-year-old female gator at Alligator Attraction, in Madeira Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Cherie Diez) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT

In this Sept. 24, 2012, photo, Destini Clarke kisses French Fry, a 5-year-old female gator at Alligator Attraction, in Madeira Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, Cherie Diez) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — Forget about ponies, bounce houses and clowns.

For $175, a Florida businessman is spicing up kids' parties by bringing tiny alligators and letting them swim in clients' pools. Bob Barrett says the gator pool parties are totally safe — the reptiles' mouths are clamped shut with veterinary-grade tape.

He says he gives the kids a safety lesson and a science talk about gators. Barrett runs a beachside alligator attraction where people can get their photos taken with the young reptiles; he started renting the gators to parties last summer when business was slow.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says Barrett has a license to exhibit the gators and adds that people should always use caution when they come into contact with wild animals.

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