While that last question is rhetorical (considering everything is on the internet), the original conundrum remains: What… is happening here?
ESPN insider Field Yates is sharing a curious video Friday of Cleveland Browns’ own Wyatt Teller. Within, the All-Pro NFL guard is “carrying an alligator over his shoulders.” What Yates fails to realize, or doesn’t want to, is that the alligator is both dead – and it’s jaw is taped shut.
A closer look at the video reveals blood leaving the top of the gator’s skull, too. Teller does not look dressed for hunting, which, if he were, would make this a perfectly normal part of an alligator hunt when you’re enormous enough to carry said alligator.
Instead, he looks ready for a barbecue – which he may be if he’s hunting gator. The practice is typical for relocation and/or conservationist measures when the animal is still alive.
So again, we ask, what the hell is happening here? Teller himself didn’t post the footage because, as one Twitter user points out in the comments: “He didn’t record it, he didn’t post it, he doesn’t even have social media. Someone wanted attention from it but it’s not him.”
Well, we did some digging. And it turns out Wyatt Teller went hunting after all… In a Central Florida hunting facility known as Clay Gully Outfitters.
Wyatt Teller Goes Alligator Hunting in Florida Facility
So how did we come to this conclusion? In the bottom righthand portion of the footage, text from someone’s social media posting of the clip is visible. “@Carlywhiting we wish you were here but don’t worry, Wyatt is…” and that’s all we can see.
Carly Whiting (@carlywhiting) is Teller’s fiance, with the two set to be married soon. By taking her social media handle here, we were led to her small Instagram account – and her latest post (from two hours ago as of writing this article) is of Teller – you guessed it – carrying his alligator over his shoulders.
According to Whiting’s post, which asks “so is this my wedding gift?” – Wyatt Teller went hunting in the closed-area hunting facility Clay Gully Outfitters. Whiting also tags the Central Florida facility in her post, bringing this bout of some serious investigative journalism full circle:
“Welcome to Clay Gully Outfitters. We are Central Florida’s Premiere Hunting Facility. Hogs – Gators – Deer – Turkey. Come get your wild game on,” the facility’s bio reads on Instagram.
As for the taping of the gator’s mouth, the facility offers free-range alligator hunting with guides on both privately leased and public lands. Once the gator is located by the guide, it is then “hunted or fished” and brought to shore, where its mouth is taped shut.
This is done in alligator hunting as a precautionary measure, as “bangsticks” used to kill the animal sometimes only stun them. Hunting alligators with firearms is illegal, so they must be finished off with a specialized tool. In short: gator hunting is not for the faint of heart, nor any looking for the most humane or natural form of the hunt.
Teller Poses With His Gator
Further viewing of the original stories posted to Instagram by Teller’s friend Hannah Cook show Teller literally using a fishing pole to reel in his gator, as is typical in some forms of this hunt. Here is the final result:
Adding another layer to the story, it turns out that Miami Dolphins defensive end Zach Sieler owns Clay Gully Outfitters. Wyatt Teller and Sieler are close friends, and the woman who filmed the footage and posted it to Instagram – Hannah Cook – is dating Sieler.
What a wild ride that was.