The movie’The Waterboy’, a teacher asked:”Why are alligators so competitive?”
The waterboy responded:”Momma tells me alligators are ornery because they have those teeth but no toothbrush!”
Nigel Marven, the wild life specialist, wasn’t pleased with what his mother told him about alligators. He spent a year in Southern Florida in 2002 studying their manners and making movies about them.
A group of his adventures on film are known as’Nigel Marven’s Alligator Adventure’. Nigel, back in England, had noticed an ad that read:
“Wanted! Alligator Wrestler.
The advertisement described Nigel exactly. Nigel commented:
“A half million alligators are becoming desperate and have begun coming into town seeking water causing big issues. That is where my particular mission will arrive in – coping with nuisance alligators.”
Nigel realized that some sort of training would help him to survive and to succeed in his job. He decided to train with an experienced alligator wrestler, a Miccosukee Indian, known as Kenny.
The Miccosukee have lived and hunted alligators in this region for centuries.
An alligator’s jaws have a devastating power of 3000lbs per square inch. Their teeth aren’t as sharp as crocodiles so that they don’t chew their prey. They thrash their victims around until body parts are ripped off and may be swallowed whole.
Another distinction is that crocodile snouts are pointed and narrow whereas alligator snouts are wide and round.
Kenny waved his hat before the eyes of a ten foot alligator to get it to open its mouth. He tapped over its snout several times with his hands
He then put his hands near its mouth. When it snapped its jaws closed and then opened them, he moved in quickly and closed its jaws with his left hands beneath along with his right palm on top. He gripped its jaws with his thumbs on top and his fingers underneath.
Then he moved anticlockwise round the left side of the alligator stepping first with his right leg, holding its jaws shut with his left hand until he could sit on its back pulling back its head with both hands.
It was Nigel’s turn . He approached it from the back. It took him some time to get up his courage for his first move.
Then he proceeded in fast squatting on its rear just behind front legs and covering its eyes with his left hand which also slammed its head to the ground. This shut its mouth so Nigel could catch its jaws with his thumbs in addition to its top jaw and his fingers beneath the lower jaw.
To tie up its jaws he would need to bend its neck back before the alligator’s closed snout could be held in a clamped position under his own chin! The alligator didn’t enjoy this experience:
“I will hear that hissing. It is going throughout my body.”
He got off by placing down its head and then moving quickly away from its jaws.
Nigel decided he’d heard enough grappling techniques and headed off to find the creatures from the wild. He was, after all, a crazy life scientist in addition to an alligator wrestler!
That day he travelled to a small pool filled with alligators. He could see orange eyes and feel the tension in the atmosphere. It would have been suicide to attempt to swim in this pool so that he punted his way in.
1 alligator came right up along with his ship:
“They’re curious about anything new and it’s clear they’re really hungry.
You may see them gliding through the water.
“They have eaten all of the turtles and the fish and all there is left is each other. The smaller alligators attempt to stay out of the way of the larger ones by sticking into the shallows but occasionally there isn’t any escape.”
1 huge alligator attacked a teenager alligator:
“It’s shaking it like a dog shaking a rat. They can not chew. They can only hold so that they thrash and crash until they dismember the bodies of large prey.”
Later in daytime, Nigel moved close from the shallows to a huge alligator and began tapping it on top of its nostrils until it opened its mouth wide. It clearly enjoyed using its snout rubbed.
Nigel place one hand in its mouth to point out the stubs of teeth which the alligator grips with. He was at exactly the exact same time talking to and looking at the camera!
Then he put his head in its mouth to give viewers a closer look in the throat! A camera has been attached to his forehead. An alligator has no lips to seal its mouth so it’s a false palate that seals its neck instead.
Nigel was decided to show a close up of the awesome design feature. Unexpectedly, the alligator lost patience and snapped its jaws twice.
Nigel narrowly escaped without losing his head or his arm and of course the camera!
“Wow! Wow! I needed to be fast there, did not I really? Pheaw! That almost spoiled my weekend”
Alligators can’t survive for long outdoor water so, in times of drought, they produce their own ponds or’swimming pools’. They push sand back with their front legs and then sweep it away with their rear legs and tails. These pools assist other species to survive also.
Nigel decided to research a pool’possessed’ by a large female alligator. He entered the pool while the alligator was recharging her energies in the side of the pool at sunlight. He estimated that this would take about half an hour.
He was able to unearth a salamander and an aggressively vicious snapping turtle which was just too eager to strike both him and the cameraman! Its jaws are made for cutting rather than grinding. A sting could snip off a finger or thumb.
Through the program, Nigel was filled with excitement. He was thrilled to discover some of the most horrendous looking creatures that most people would pay decent money to avoid.
He only just escaped the pool prior to the’proprietor’ reached him.
His next’adventure’ was to swim with enormous bull alligators and female alligators during their mating rituals. He was advised by an expert to maintain at least twenty five feet away from the bulls, to maintain low in the water and to splash water towards an alligator when it moved towards him.
He ignored some of the advice and got within six feet of a enormous bull alligator. The bulls lift their heads and tails high from the water and bellow as part of the courting ritual.
They vibrate so much with the noise of the bellow and a deeper sound beneath the level of human hearing, that the water’dances’ in the air over their backs.
Female alligators bellow also but in a greater more ladylike pitch. The water doesn’t dance on their backs.
Nigel entered the water, as intended, to get nearer to the beaches and sounds of the magical scene.
He had been so absorbed in watching the remarkable mating ritual of a single bull he failed to observe an alligator stalking him. Luckily, he turned and watched it in time. The water was shallow and this helped him escape unscathed.
During mating the female is submerged beneath and when the pair gets carried away she might even drown. Typically, however, her eggs are fertilized and she places them within a couple of weeks and then after a couple of months the small alligators emerge.
They consume a hundred pounds of green things per day and have 150 foot long intestines to process all of the plants they consume.
They are so big that they don’t have to fear that the alligators. They generally come up to breathe every four minutes or so but can remain submerged for over sixteen minutes.
At one point an American crocodile combined the swimming party. There are only about 500 American crocodiles abandoned – all in Florida. Nigel’s response was typical:
In the next’adventure’, Nigel drew away a eight foot mom alligator from her hatching eggs so he could get close enough to do some research.
Perhaps she was just snapping her jaws together to frighten him off.
He invited her to come towards him and triggered some tree roots on his left. Fortunately, he kept on his toes and lived yet again!
“Cor! That snap actually got my heart beating. If they run at you they could run at twelve miles an hour. I need to be able to out run her. Wow! Wow!” Every time Nigel said’Wow!’ The alligator came .
Finally, Nigel lay low and close on the floor watching entranced as she assisted the baby alligators to hatch by rolling the eggs around in her mouth:
They know that she is the best way to reach the water.”
When she went to take one of two of her babies into the water, he analyzed the others to find out what gender they were. Their gender is determined by the temperature they are incubated in:
“That is ridiculous! These are reptiles but I feel like a proud dad. This is the first day of those small hatchling lives.
Nigel also discovered some baby turtles at the alligator nest.
Alligator hatchlings remain together as a family for a couple of decades but just a few will make it to maturity.
From day one they capture food for themselves but they’re also hunted by predators such as otters. The Mother alligator can not be everywhere at once especially when she’s about forty baby alligators to shield.
There’s 1 alligator for every ten people in Florida. They may be tempted by different sorts of food such as dogs. They take about a hundred a year but it isn’t just pets which are in jeopardy. Alligators can turn up everywhere.
Nigel met two year old Edna Wilkes and her friend Amanda. They had been swimming in a lake when Edna was attacked by an alligator. She had never seen alligators in that lake wasn’t scared about swimming .
She believed her friend Mark was squeezing her arm and said:”Mark! Quit playing around!”
She was dragged underwater before she had an opportunity to scream along with the alligator began to spin. Alligators drown their prey and twist to rip off chunks of flesh.
Her friend couldn’t’bear to see her die’ and handed her a plank that Edna got her upper body onto.
“I guess I chased him and he let me go!”
It was time for Nigel to put his knowledge and skills to the test.
A nuisance alligator was seen in a swimming pool. It was big and on the bottom of the pool. Nigel would have to swim underwater to catch it with his bare hands.
He was, unsurprisingly, nervous. He asked for guidance from Joe, a professional friend.
Cover the eyes and be sure that the mouth is closed before catching its snout. If needed, push its head to the bottom of the pool to shut its mouth.”
Nigel’s swam up behind the alligator along its rear His first attempt to catch its closed snout failed and he came up gasping for air. On the next attempt:
Third time lucky – he drifted over the alligator and caught the snout with the jaws closed with his left hand. He attracted the alligator in close the steps to the pool. His friend Joe helped him tape the mouth closed and then lift it from the pool
As usual, Nigel watched the positives of the terrifying experience:
“This bloke gave me a gorgeous ride in the swimming pool”
Florida legislation stated that a nuisance alligator over four feet long should be murdered but Nigel made certain this one was released to an Everglades sanctuary where it may live on for several years to come. He commented:
“I just hope the people in Florida never lose patience with their ancient neighbours. I’ve enjoyed my alligator experience so much.”
My step brother emailed me this poem that indicates that alligators aren’t necessarily the guilty party when it comes to attacks on human beings! It’s known as’The Purist’ by Ogden Nash:
Professor Twist couldn’t but smile.
“You mean,” he explained,”a crocodile.”
Several survival and success tips may be heard from Nigel’s’experiences’.
Get training from the very best in the company. Nigel sought advice from three or more experts. He also implemented their guidance although not all of it.
Keep your enthusiasm for what you’re doing even when you make mistakes. Nigel didn’t give up in the swimming pool.
Nigel had bathed at home in his tub with youthful caymans from a young age. He afterwards drifted with alligators.
Maintain your childhood curiosity and sense of wonder so you may enjoy your adventures on this awesome planet.
Chrissy Ogden wrote:’Keeping in touch with childhood memories keeps us believing in life’s simplest pleasures like a rainy day, a swing set, and a giant puddle to play ‘ All through the movie Nigel was playing in giant puddles.
Knowledge and fascination can diminish anxiety and panic. Nigel’s head was filled with his curiosity about the animals he met up with it didn’t have space for a lot of fear.
Do not give up even in the event you believe your life is in the grip of an’alligator’ such as illness or debt.
Be prepared to take risks although I wouldn’t suggest taking Nigel as your role model. I just checked on the world wide web to determine if he’s still alive. He i