Friday, May 16, 2008

Gator Bites

My first summer in south Florida, was spent getting to known some of the local kids. I was fourteen that summer. These kids had grown up with the Florida swamps as their backyard playground, riding in air boats and swamp buggies, hunting wild boars and gators, and camping all summer long. The beach was their front yard where days were spent surfing, snorkeling, diving, gigging lobsters, and getting a tan.

That first summer, I was so shocked to watch my friends swimming in the canals and swamps or turning over canoes in lakes which we KNEW had gators. So many times we canoed at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, FL, and never once, did I want to go in the water, no matter how hot it got. No swimming with gators for me.

I remember one story of a young man ( I think he's the one listed here that happened in 1978.) I remember the horrific story of how his *father fought with the gator for his son. The son was decapitated. It still makes me ill. * I couldn't find the story online so I may be wrong on the who tried to save him. (Another list is here.) Anyway, this story colored my personal opinions about gators.

So... The reason for this post.... Many fans of the Croc Hunter (May he rest in Peace) watched as he educated us about crocs and gators. Never once, did he ever state "try this at home" yet a local *hero, attempted just this thing last night.

I'm still amazed that a man, whom we trust to carry a gun, and make wise choices, made the decision to single handedly, attempt to *apprehend the gator by himself! Lol, (sorry for giggling but...) most officers wouldn't attempt to arrest a human suspect by themselves yet this *hero tried tackling an eight foot gator alone?

Now I get that he was trying to protect the public at large. But there ARE procedures in place on how to deal with an alligator. The officers could have just kept the gator in site and kept the area cleared until a trapper could respond. (This is done in many places locally when a gator gets too comfortable around people. Very recently, near a school.) But come on!! What was this officer thinking? The gator was eight feet long? Didn't he know gators roll? Didn't he know they are extremely strong? And the longer the stronger? How many people would the Croc Hunter have used to jump on a gator's back to pin it down and tie it's mouth shut?

Now, I'm either impressed by the officer's bravo or appalled at his stupidity. I wish him well as his wounds heal. Thankfully, the wounds WILL heal. If you would like to read the story of this brave soul (yes, brave even though some what stupid), you can read it here if it hasn't made it to your local news: Deputy Bitten By Alligator In Apartment Complex Parking Lot
POSTED: 6:40 am EDT May 16, 2008
UPDATED: 8:37 am EDT May 16, 2008

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- A Volusia County deputy got a painful lesson in what it takes to trap alligators. He was bitten while trying to wrestle an eight-foot gator at an apartment complex in Deltona.

Now the interesting thing here, is news reports are subjective. The story from the morning news, which interviewed the woman who made the call, had far more detail. Most of the online reports soften the stupidity the original news cast reported.

Another blog about this is here.


ComfyDenim said...

Gives new meaning to the phrase: "Taking a bite out of crime"

jugglingpaynes said...

*moment of silence for the gator*

The article didn't say, why would they have killed the gator either way? Was it a repeat offender? Remind me not to get in trouble in Florida!

And you are right, you do have to be at least slightly stupid to be brave. But I would rather be a smart person who understands what the consequences of my actions will be and does it anyway. Call it informed stupidity. ;o)