Have you ever looked at an alligator and thought to yourself, “Eh, I could take him”? If the answer is yes, please seek a fulfilling hobby immediately.
Look, no one is questioning your wrestling prowess, your no-doubt-bulging muscles, or the fact that you’ve seen every episode of The Crocodile Hunter twice. But the average American alligator is between 200 and 500 pounds, depending on their gender. And that’s just the start of the long list of reasons why fighting a gator is a terrible idea.
The ancient reptile stretches up to 15 feet in length and can exert 300 pounds of pressure per square inch with each razor-sharp bite. And that’s not even taking their impossibly strong tails into account, which are capable of causing serious injury and even death with a single devastating swing.
So, yeah, maybe don’t blindfold an alligator and attempt to grab it like a stray cat. Or do, but know that in doing so, you’re begging to lose an arm.
As anyone could have predicted, this genius‘ attempt to wrangle an alligator ended in catastrophic fashion. The man is incredibly lucky he escaped the gator’s grip with his arm intact.
The moment his hands touched the alligator’s armored skin, the reptile reacted as anyone would when mounted by a complete stranger without warning. After flinging the makeshift blindfold from its face, restoring its sight, the gator sunk its teeth into the man’s arm, forcing its attacker to retreat.
As Outdoor Life noted, the encounter “didn’t go well and could have been way worse.”
“Alligators are commonplace in Florida,” they continued. “But that doesn’t make everyone a certified gator wrestler. Keep that in mind the next time you think about jumping on a gator (if those thoughts ever cross your mind).”
Professional Alligator Trapper Explains Hazards of Gator Wrangling
Even Steve Irwin himself knew he was putting his life on the line with every encounter. But it was all in the name of conservation, not sport or amusement. So for him, it was worth the risk. The Florida man’s ill-advised attempt to wrestle a full-size alligator (if that was even his goal, who really knows) was far from a necessary task.
As reptile expert Donny Aldarelli once explained, the risks when dealing with alligators are many. As a registered trapper with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, he’s experienced his fair share of painful encounters.
“I remember one time I got whacked by the tail of a 10-footer,” he recalled to Click Orlando, “it was the hardest I’ve ever gotten hit in my life. My whole vision just went super bright and instant pain. It took me a couple of hours to recuperate from it.”
“It’s so strong,” Aldarelli continued. “If they whack you or clock you in the head just right, getting knocked out could happen. But they could cause more serious damage than that, possibly even kill you by just hitting you in the head.”