Kissimmee, Florida

I’m in an airboat, on the edge of the Everglades. Spanish moss drips from cypress trees, reflected in water as clear as glass under a cloudless Florida sky. Watching great egrets and roseate spoonbills, I’m almost lulled into a Zen-like state. Almost. After all, we’re here to spot alligators. And despite the serene surroundings, there are more than 4,200 gators in these waters. Oh, and it’s nesting season, which means there’s a good chance we’ll spot some females protecting their eggs.

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