Christopher Gillette and Ashley Lawrence of “Gator Boys” to Appear at Southwest Florida Reptile Expo

Nov 11, 2016
On the Web
by Editor in Chief

On the Web - When he isn’t wrangling crocodiles in some Central American jungle or free diving with tiger sharks, you may be able catch Christopher Gillette wrestling alligators at Holiday Park near Ft. Lauderdale. For one weekend only, you can meet Gillette up close and personal at the upcoming Southwest Florida Reptile Expo in Bonita Springs.

He will be joined by fellow alligator wrestler and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Ashley Lawrence. Lawrence is known to spend her time cuddling with big cats and swimming with alligators. Her work places her in remote wilderness areas in search of rare animals. Gillette and Lawrence may be most well-known for their appearances on the Animal Planet show “Gator Boys.”

Gillette is a renowned wildlife photographer. His work, which includes breathtaking up-close shots of sharks, crocodiles, alligators, and other spectacular wildlife, will be on display at the Expo. His kinship with creatures, including the toothy and not-so-friendly types, has earned him a reputation as one of today’s premier animal showmen.

Though his career choice may seem dare-devilish to the average person, Gillette’s primary focus is conservation. “I want to show people the beauty of these animals and demonstrate that they are not aggressive or evil creatures,” he said. By helping people understand animals’ roles in the ecosystem, Gillette hopes to garner respect for wildlife and show that it is possible for people and wild animals to coexist.

The Southwest Florida Reptile Expo is sponsored by the Calusa Herpetological Society of Southwest Florida. This event will showcase local reptile breeders and give the public the opportunity to see live reptiles up close as well as buy pets, supplies, T-shirts, and jewelry. The Expo will be held at the Bonita Springs/Estero Elks Lodge at 3231 Coconut Rd Bonita Springs, FL 34134. The Expo will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, November 19 and 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 20, 2016. For more information see

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