NAPLES, Fla. - A new roadblock is in the way of Mike Sturgill's plans to open his Hug and Hold an Alligator Exhibit in Tin City in Naples. This time it's from PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The Naples City Council approved Sturgill's plans last week, but PETA spokeswoman Kristin Simon is hoping citizens will convince the council to re-vote.
"We hope that everyone will see this exhibit for what it really is: A greedy attempt to make a few bucks off exploiting animals," said Simon.
Sturgill has been running a similar exhibit in the Everglades since the '90s. He raises the 'gators from babies.
"You wouldn't want to come out here and grab a wild alligator and hug it, it could be your last hug," said Sturgill.
"But these ones here grew up getting hugs and sometimes I think they expect hugs."
Council members would have to call for a re-vote by Monday, otherwise the plans will proceed as scheduled.
Sturgill plans to open the facility in Tin City sometime this winter.