Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades

Flatiron. Nov. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250842572. $29.99. NAT HIST
Readers of this book are in for an adventure. It reads like a true-crime caper, with good people trying to catch the bad ones. However, as is often the case, the line between these two becomes blurred and complicated when more is learned about their characters and their surroundings. National Geographic contributor and debut author Renner brings together the details of a recent true story about crime and several South Floridians who were trying to make a living in their state’s wetlands—by illegally poaching alligators. Their opposition was Jeff Babauta, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer who set out to infiltrate the poachers. Throughout this carefully crafted book, Renner interweaves details about the fascinating world of alligators and the formidable habitats where they live. She also gives insight into the people of the Everglades and the conflicts that occur in the lives of its inhabitants. Renner’s writing skills shine in this story.
VERDICT Audiences of all types will appreciate this easy-to-read narrative as well as Renner’s knowledge of the area, her academic ability, her candor, and her insights into human nature. Recommended for all libraries, especially academic ones and those in and around South Florida.
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