Yes, Michigan is home to alligators. Most do reside in aquariums or kept as pets, but that doesn't mean you won't see a big gator out there. In 2019, a man actually had an alligator strike at him from a ditch here in Michigan! Luckily the man was unharmed, however, the alligator was put down.

Back in 2019, the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary out of Athens Michigan found nine alligators from eight different Michigan counties, according to MLive.The next year, the sanctuary started offering courses on how animal control officers, could catch alligators in a safe manner.

“This is definitely a need in our community to keep our law enforcement safe and to keep these animals safe,” Manger of animal enrichment at Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary, Angelina Kelly, said.

This course is a hands-on course. The participants tour the Sanctuary and do have a class portion. After both of those things are finished, the officers begin to handle the gators, starting from smaller, then going up in size.

“You’re dealing with pure power wrapped in a skin,” Sal Palombo, who runs Michigan Animal Control, said, “It is not like dealing with a small mammal. These are pure muscle."

Believe it or not, the Critchlow Sanctuary homes nearly 200 alligators. Some only on average are about a foot long, but the sanctuary does home one gator that is 11 feet long. The alligator is named Medusa. Each year, the sanctuary accepts anywhere from 20 to 30 new alligators a year.

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Some started as pets, but as the gators grow, caring for them can become a little complicated, and some are just unwilling to continue on. Don't be fooled tho, some of those gators are brought in by authorities.

This is actually the only place in the midwest to get experience on how to handle alligators and get training without needing to head down to southern states with alligators.

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