Environment: The Gator Glut

When the U.S. Interior Department put the American alligator on its list of endangered species in 1967, conservationists were delighted. But poachers kept on killing the "gators," which grow up to 12 ft. in length, and selling the skins for as much as $9 per ft. To end the incentive for slaughtering the beasts, the Federal Government finally cracked down last year on businesses dealing in the hides. That move has worked too well. With no enemies left, the alligators are proliferating wildly, especially in Louisiana. Indeed, says Luke Petrovich, a county public-safety...

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