Meet Ray Simonsen, Sr.
“Ray the Trapper”
Serving Collier County, Florida.
Ray is a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) licensed and contracted nuisance alligator trapper (NAT), bear response contractor (BRC) and crocodile response agent (CRA). For the past six years, Ray has been on call day and night, trapping alligators, crocodiles, and black bears as requested by FWC. Ray holds a Class II Captive Wildlife License, which allows him to transfer larger alligators live to a facility that is licensed to accept live alligators. Most often, this allows to alligators to enjoy a live release at a farm where they breed and live their lives in a natural habitat. He also responds privately to local calls for wildlife situations, including raccoons, possums, armadillos, birds and even venomous snakes!
Ray enjoys educating the public about animal safety, the consequences of feeding wildlife, and how to comfortably coexist with nature in our area. He visits local schools, homeowner’s associations, and even attends local fundraisers with his little buddy “Spike” the alligator! He can be also seen on local tv channels, hoping to raise awareness regarding his job as a trapper.
A true Renaissance Man, prior to becoming the modern-day trapper, Ray worked as a certified New Jersey firefighter, state licensed security office, insurance agent, painting contractor, electrician, and artist (painting murals and decorative finishes in several of his clients’ homes). Although he keeps his hand in painting with local clients, his passion is with the animals and education.
Ray resides in Naples with his wife of 15 years, their 8 rescued dogs, 3 rescued cats and even a rescued bunny! His passion for animals extends into his fur-family and seeing the transformation in saving these pets from their past neglect, abuse and abandonment.
His hobbies include shooting, archery, fishing, scuba, and working on projects around the home.