[Video] ‘I felt like Batman’: MMA Fighter Wrangles 10-ft Alligator Close to Elementary School
MMA fighter, veteran, and alligator trapper Mike Dragich trapped a 10-foot gator near a Jacksonville Elementary school while being cheered on by about 200 people.
In a video posted May 22 to his Instagram account (bluecaller -brawler), Dragich is seen struggling with the 10-footer in a crowd-filled parking lot.
“We get there. I walked through the gate. And boom. There it was just ready to go right there in the parking lot, and we just had to get the job done,” he told Fox 35 Orlando.
Since the video was posted, it has garnered more than 1,000 comments commending the sleeveless tank-clad Florida man’s fight with the gator and his hulking and exposed arms. He is seen grabbing the gator by the tail and dragging it until the animal frees itself again. Dragich then went to the standby catch pole and was seen looping the noose around the gator’s neck.
After several death rolls and a few stumbles from Dragich, the fighter eventually gained control and plopped on the gator’s back. Dragich and several Hose Draggers were able to hold the gator down as the crowd cheered.
“I felt like Batman, for real, you know,” he told Fox 35
“A lot of fighters will understand that, uh, when you go to the cage, you’re nervous but once that cage door closes, you gotta be focused, and honestly, that’s what I remembered from that night,” Dragich told Fox 35.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, We’re in full swing of alligator season in Florida.
It’s not uncommon to find large alligators in places they don’t belong, looking for a mate, There are roughly 1.3 million alligators in the state of Florida, and they can be found in all 67 counties, the FWC says.
MMA fighter Mike Dragich wrestled a 10-Foot alligator outside of a Florida school 🤯🐊 pic.twitter.com/OquALDsae5
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) June 2, 2023
A Florida man put on quite a show for a crowd of nearly 200 people gathered outside a Jacksonville elementary school as he wrangled a 10-foot gator. https://t.co/ahonEoInud
— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) May 31, 2023
The FWC prioritizes public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP). The goal of SNAP is to proactively address alligator threats in developed areas while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur. SNAP uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets, or property. People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286), and we will dispatch a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to resolve the situation.
The FWC works to keep Floridians and visitors informed and recommends the following precautionary measures near alligators, including in or near the water, to reduce the chances of conflicts with alligators:
- Keep a safe distance if you see an alligator. If someone is concerned about an alligator, they should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286), and we will dispatch a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to resolve the situation.
- Keep pets on a leash and away from the water’s edge. Pets often resemble alligators’ natural prey.
- Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours and without your pet. Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.
- Never feed an alligator. It’s illegal and dangerous. When fed, alligators can lose their natural wariness and instead learn to associate people with the availability of food. This can lead to dangerous circumstances for yourself and other people who could encounter the alligator in the future.
According to the FWC, the best thing to do is fight back if an alligator bites you, providing as much noise and resistance as possible. Hitting or kicking the alligator or poking it in its eyes may cause it to release its grip. When alligators seize prey, they cannot easily overpower; alligators will often let go and retreat.
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