Yes, this may be illegal, but it was also pretty cool.
Many people in Florida call gatorsa nuisance, and I can see why. I lived in Tampa for 4 years and the swamp puppies were literally everywhere. I’ve seen them cross roads, chase dogs, and poke their noses out of just about every body of water imaginable, so it just makes sense that people would get a bit uneasy, especially considering both kids and pets love to play by the water’s edge.
If a gator gets to be a big enough problem, professional trappers are often called in to remove it, but some true Floridians don’t want to spend the time making that call and sitting around waiting for someone to come out and get it, so they take matters into their own hands (literally).
Case in point, this young Florida man.
There’s not a lot of context for the video, but it seems a group of people are teaming up to move this alligator from a small body of water and put it in another one.
Relocating alligators is actually quite interesting, because you can only successfully put an alligator in a new body of water and have it stay there if they are under 4 feet in length. If the gator has grown past that size, you can’t move them to another body of water because they have an incredible homing instinct.
Researchers say they can sense the earth’s magnetic field and use that to return back to the body of water where they matured. There’s countless stories of alligators being removed from a pond and moved upwards of 100 miles away, only for it to make an improbable journey home and be found again in the same pond months or years later.
In general, nuisance alligators over 4 feet long are faced with two possible life paths: Be taken to a wildlife refuge or be turned into gator bites, boots, and wallets.
The gator this young guy grabbed seemed to be right at the limit of potential relocation so it’s unknown how effective this would be, but regardless, we see the boy lean over the water and wait for just the right moment. When the gator’s head sticks out just far enough, he shoots his hand under the surface and pulls up a wriggling, and pissed off, gator.
Again, this may be illegal, but come on, grabbing an alligator with your bare hand is really cool.
Hopefully it was able to be released somewhere safe and it didn’t return to cause any trouble, but hey, I’m not going to pretend like I don’t have a paid of gator skin boots sitting in the closet…