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Job Openings.

There is really no such thing as a bad alligator wrestler, says Mike Bailey, a man who ought to know. After ail, if you're bad, you're dead.

"They'll kill you in a second," says Bailey, chief alligator wrestler at the Seminole Okalee Indian Village and Museum in Hollywood, Florida. "if you're lucky, they'll just tear your fingers off."

For $12 an hour-plus health benefits--Bailey wades into a pool, grabs an 8-foot, 220-pound alligator by the tail, and strains to pin it on the sand while tourists watch in awe. The Seminole have a long tradition of wrestling alligators-they used to capture them and keep them for food-and the Village charges $5 a head for four shows a day.

But now, the Seminole say, there is a shortage of young people in the tribe who want to go into that line of work. So the Seminole have taken to advertising outside the tribe: "WANTED: Alligator wrestlers. Must be brave and a risk taker. Males and females OK. No experience needed."

To date, only a few people have applied.

"Ain't very many of them going to have a chance of getting a job," says Bailey. "Most of them just weren't any good."

And, as he says, there's no such thing as a bad alligator wrestler.
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Title Annotation:Mike Bailey, alligator wrestler with Seminole Okalee Indian Village and Museum in Florida
Author:Bragg, Rick
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Dec 11, 2000
Previous Article:From Homeless to Harvard.

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