Grandpa watched a few too many episodes of The Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irwin back in the day.
There’s fine line between being brave and just plain dumb… and thankfully, the internet does a great job at capturing both. We’ve all seen the headlines and read the stories about alligators lurking in the water, attacking people or their pets passing by on land. So, I really have zero sympathy for somebody who willingly decides to mess with an alligator.
This guy right here decided to roll the dice… and it nearly cost him his life.
About a decade ago, Fred Boyce was the subject of this viral video in Carteret County, North Carolina, after he tried to wrangle an alligator… and failed MISERABLY. And now, it’s going viral again. Boyce is a reptile expert from Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium, so rather than wait for animal control who was 2 hours away to show up and properly remove the gator, he decided to take matters into his own hands… in his nicest pair of khakis. Reptile expert or not, when you hit a certain age, I think it’s time to stop wrestling alligators in your Sunday best, right? What are you doing, man? You teach science, work the PowerPoint… leave the dirty work to the big boys like Billy The Exterminator and Swamp People’s Troy Landry.
In the video, you can see Fred approach an alligator sitting in the ditch near a highway, and toss a towel over its eyes. Not his first rodeo? It would seem so…
His first warning sign should’ve been how ferociously the gator snapped back when the towel hit his face. I mean, duh? It’s just chilling, sunbathing, and enjoying the peace and quiet, and all of a sudden the lights are out. Wouldn’t you be mad too? However, the man decided to keep on approaching, and even attempted to straddle the gator, and that’s when things really get ugly.
The gator quickly snaps back at him, knocking him on his back, and then immediately turn and grabs hold of his arm. It quickly lets go and he’s able to create some distance with his foot, but the damage was done.
Needless to say, the man is lucky to be able to get up and walk away, but hey, at least he went insanely viral in North Carolina.
Check it out:
The man even jokes at the beginning how they “have a bunch of tourniquets for ya” if things go south… well, they did.
Fred recalled the incident with local news:
“I was definitely overmatched, I was little out of my weight class there.
I kind of coached these guy, they were kind of hefty guys who probably weighed as much as the alligator each, and I thought if they jumped on his back, they’d provide the weight. Problem was, as soon as I grabbed the alligator I knew it was gonna explode.
My arm was in his mouth, there was little time to think… fortunately it didn’t clamp down with full force, it just gave me what amounted to a lovely nip from this gator.”
He was treated at the hospital and released, suffering only a minor arm injury.
Alligators have extremely powerful jaws capable of exerting tremendous force. The muscles that close the jaws are much stronger than the muscles used to open them, which us why professionals try and jump on the gator’s back and hold the jaw shut. Obviously, that comes in a ton of risk. An adult alligator can have between 70 to 80 teeth at any given time, which are very sharp, designed for clamping down on prey, holding it tight, and tearing through the flesh.
And what’s more, alligator mouths also contain a fair amount of bacteria, and bite wounds often carry a significant risk of infection. So not only are you risking your arms getting torn off, you could potentially suffer serious infection from a puncture wound. Immediate medical attention is required for alligator bites to clean and treat the wound and minimize the risk of infection.