Before becoming protected in the 1960’s, alligators were hunted to near extinction for their skins. The following is a headline from an 1875 newspaper. Thankfully the “Okefenokee Alligator Farm” vision never became a reality, for there probably would have been only a lot of “harvesting” and very little management.
The Galveston News thinks alligator skins should begin to figure among Texan exports.
Nashville Union and American. June 11, 1875.
Florida and Louisiana contrive to catch and skin 20,000 alligators a year, and the News is satisfied that the Texan crop is fully as great as both of those States. The skins are exported to England and France, but chiefly to the latter country, which furnishes the best tanners in the world. Would it not be well, the Atlanta Constitution asks, to turn the Okefenokee Swamp into an alligator farm for the benefit of the world in general, and Georgia in particular?
iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/57833819