• Gator prices on rise after down year

    Gator prices on rise after down year

    Both the number of alligator hunters and the price of alligator skins have risen slightly since last year’s record low season.

    While buying skinned alligator hides at Cypress Pride in Catahoula Thursday, Raphael Sagrera, who owns a gator farm in Abbeville, said like last year, this year’s season has started off slowly.

    “We usually do more,” Sagrera said of the average number of gators per day being brought to Cypress Pride by area gator farmers. “The only reason it’s better this year is because they’re out hunting.”

    Gator prices on rise after down year Abbeville alligator farmer Raphael Sagrera, left, and Robin Melancon of Cypress Pride in Catahoula sort through a vat of skinned gator hides Thursday afternoon. - Patrick Flanagan / The Daily Iberian

     

    Steven Gresham, who works as a skinner for Cypress Pride, said so far this season the company has skinned and cleaned between 80 and 150 hides per day, about 750 total gators.

    Noel Kinler, the alligator program manager for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said since the season started — Aug. 25 in the area east of the Atchafalaya Basin Levee and Sept. 1 for the area west of the Atchafalaya Basin Levee — 32,000 licenses have been issued, 1,970 of those going to gator hunters and farmers in Iberia, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes.

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