‘People think of alligators as mindless killers but if you understand their behaviour it is possible to handle them in surprising ways, I wanted to show how calm and gentle these amazing creatures can be.
‘The underwater shots are of wild gators I had never seen before this day, but with the proper experience and ability to “read” their behaviour it is possible to handle them like this.
‘These are wild caught “nuisance” alligators, “nuisance” means that they are gators that have shown potentially dangerous behavior, such as getting into backyards or eating a dog.’
Chris, who first started handling animals at the age of 15, said he is keen to show their friendlier side.
‘We had to be very careful, alligators are incredibly powerful with a bite strong enough to snap any bone in the human body, and on top of the jaw pressure and teeth, you are underwater and can easily drown if bitten,’ he said.
‘I love showing the more gentle side of predators, it is important to remember these are potentially dangerous animals and not tame or trained, but with enough knowledge about their behavior it is possible to show their more calm and comfortable side when they are not being defensive.
‘I hope people see these photos and realize alligators are not blood thirsty killing machines, that they are actually very calm and misunderstood creatures.
‘I hope it replaces fear and inspires fascination and coexistence.’