Monday, July 30, 2007

Gator Update (Skinning Edition)

News - "PIERSON -- The 3-inch blade sinks into the dead alligator's head and Charlotte Klokis' fingers deftly pull the knife backward -- slashing the skin open all the way to the tip of the tail.

She cuts away most of the bony protective skin from its back, but leaves three ridges called 'scutes' near the tail to identify the work as hers to anyone who inspects or grades the hide.

'This is what we call marking,' Klokis said last week. 'I've got a pretty good reputation for skinning gators.'

At the small plant on Saul Road in Pierson, the lifelong Florida resident has been cleaning alligators for 14 years. She works for Curtis Lucas and Dan Ellis, who as members of the Florida Alligator Trappers Association hunt mostly nuisance animals under contract with the state."

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