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Alligator Season Starts Friday

Associated Press

Today is is the start of Florida's alligator hunting season. One wildlife refuge in Boynton Beach will open its season for the first time ever - in fact it’s the first time a wildlife refuge has ever allowed sport hunting of alligators in the country.

Of the more than 1,200 people who applied for permits, only 11 were issued through a lottery system. Each hunter can kill two alligators during the limited hunting season.

Rolf Olson is the project leader for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife refuge in Boyton Beach. He said this has been a long time in the making.

"We analyzed data, we did surveys, we worked with our partners like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and we determined that we had enough alligators that we could have a small hunt without affecting the population in general of the alligators," Olson said.

Animal rights activists have protested the move. The refuge, though, has already allowed the hunting of waterfowl like geese for years.

The hunt will kick off an hour before sunset tonight and will run until November 1st.

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