Christopher “CrocodileChris” Gillette, the 28-year-old alligator wrangler and extreme wildlife photographer best known for his work on Animal Planet’s “Gator Boys“ TV show, spoke with DeeperBlue.com at The Blue Wild Expo in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend.
We wanted to follow up on what his plans were since “Gator Boys” came to an end.
Gillette spoke briefly about some of his work wrangling venomous snakes in the jungles of Bolivia on “Trailblazers,” a new TV show that debuted on March 30 on the Discovery Channel.
According to the Discovery Channel:
“Each hour-long episode will follow three elite survivalists as they lead separate teams of scientists through some of the most dangerous regions of the world in the search for clues and discoveries that could lead to scientific breakthroughs.”
Gillette will be featured on the “Trailblazers” episode that airs Friday, April 29th at 10:00 PM Eastern.
Gillette said he enjoyed working with the photography and production teams in Bolivia.
Though he is not always in front of the camera, Gillette brings his decade-long experience as an alligator wrestler and background in wildlife conservation and environmental studies to every project. A native Floridian, Gillette grew up in Palm Bay, eventually finding himself in South Florida attending college at Florida International University.
While a student at FIU, Gillette took a job as a snake wrangler at a wildlife park, which quickly led to him “wrestling” alligators and handling large predators.
Gillette is an avid photographer and his images are sublime studies of the numerous animals large and small he has encountered throughout the jungles, oceans and forests of the world. Known best for his work with large predators, Gillette’s work can be seen on his website at chrisgillette.com.
Gillette told DeeperBlue.com that while he has photographed many large and dangerous animals in their natural environment, he doesn’t do it for sensationalism, but to promote awareness, respect and appreciation for these beautiful creatures. Whether alligators in the swamps of Florida or Great White Sharks off the coast of Mexico, his fearless attitude, passion for the animals he photographs and meticulous planning and safety preparations has given him the opportunity to show the world an “eye-to-eye” view of creatures most of us will never encounter on our own.
When asked what animal has been the most challenging, Gillette immediately pointed to the Great White Shark he photographed at point-blank range off Guadalupe Island in Mexico. He adds that his real “bucket list” critter is the Australian Saltwater Crocodile, which is considered by many experts as too dangerous to dive freely with.
Gillette says he welcomes the chance to study these creatures and figure out the code that will allow him to stare the predator in the eye and take photographs that no one else can. Gillette’s ultimate goal is to host his own TV show, where he can showcase wild creatures in their natural state and educate people about the need to conserve, protect and cherish them.