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

Written by:
Rebecca Renner
Narrated by:
John Pirhalla

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2023
12 hours 2 minutes
This program features a bonus conversation between the author and Officer Jeff Babauta (who led the undercover investigation known as Operation Alligator Thief) and an introduction read by the author.

'John Pirhalla offers a first-rate narration. His facility with accents gives atmosphere to this true-crime work. He varies his tone, pitch, and cadence to good effect, and effectively handles both its hard-boiled police procedural aspects and the author's loving passages about the ecosystem at the center of the story.'—AudioFile

David Grann meets Susan Orlean in this page-turning true story of an underground operation into the mysterious world of alligator poaching and its larger than life Floridian characters

To catch a Florida Man, you have to become one, and that’s what Officer Jeff Babauta did. As his ponytailed, whiskey-soaked alter ego, he established Sunshine Alligator Farm. His goal? Infiltrate the shady world of illegal poachers in the Florida Everglades in order to protect the natural world.

A head-spinning adventure soon unfolds. Jeff deals with glow-in-the-dark alligators and high-speed airboat rides, but quickly learns that not all poachers are villains. They’re simply people trying to survive, fighting against the poverty and greed holding them down. Jeff wants to solve the mystery of alligator poachers, and in doing so he must venture deeper into a strange ecosystem where right is wrong, and justice comes at the cost of those who’ve welcomed him into their world.

Gator Country is the twisting true story of the impossible choices individuals must make to stay afloat in this world. Through its wholly unique blend of reporting, nature writing, and personal narrative, this book transports listeners to vibrant and dangerous Florida landscapes and offers intimate portraits of those who call the region home. Broad in scope and vivid in detail, Gator Country is a fast paced tale of the risks people will take to survive in one of the world's most beautiful yet formidable landscapes and the undercover investigation that threatens to topple the whole scheme.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books.
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Christina F.

Fascinating, suspenseful, and moving. Well worth a listen.

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