How to Wrestle Free From an Alligator (When in doubt, punch it in the snout!)
One thing is certain...
This won't be like any wrestling match you had in high school!
Let's get to it...
1. If you are on land, try to get on the alligator's back and put downward pressure on its neck.
Of course, this is easier said than done.
This move will force its head and jaws down.
2. Cover the alligator's eyes.
This will usually make it more sedate.
3. If you are attacked, go for the eyes and nose.
Use any weapon--or anything that can function as a weapon!--available. Use your fists if you must.
4. If its jaws are closed on something you want to remove (for example, a limb), tap or punch it on the snout.
Alligators often open their mouths when tapped lightly.
They may drop whatever it is they have taken hold of, and back off.
5. If the alligator gets you in its jaws, you must prevent it from shaking you or from rolling over--these instinctual actions cause severe tissue damage.
Once you've released yourself from its jaws following step 4, try to keep the mouth clamped shut so the alligator does not begin shaking and rolling.
In other words, if an alligator gets ahold of your arm, it may begin to roll its body over and over, twisting your arm out of its socket repeatedly.
As your wrestle, focus on keeping its mouth closed!
6. Seek medical attention immediately, even for a small cut or bruise, to treat possible infection.
Alligators have a huge number of pathogens in their mouths.
If you escape unscathed albeit with a few cuts and bruises, you could still end up worse off.
How to Avoid an Attack
While deaths in the United States from alligator attacks are rare, there are thousands of attacks and hundreds of fatalities from Nile crocodiles in Africa and Indopacific crocodiles in Asia and Australia.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Do not swim or wade in areas alligators are known to inhabit (in Florida, this can be anywhere).
- Do not swim or wade alone, and always check out the area before venturing in. If you even suspect an area may have alligators, do not go in.
- Never feed alligators.
- Do not dangle arms and legs from boats, and avoid throwing unused bait or fish from a boat or dock.
- Do not harass, try to touch, or attempt to capture an alligator.
- Leave babies and eggs alone. Any adult alligator will respond to a distress call from any youngster. Mother alligators guarding nests and babies will defend them.
- In most attack cases, the attacking alligator(s) had been fed by humans just prior to the attack. This is an important link--feeding alligators seems to cause them to lose any sense of fear regarding humans and become more aggressive.
When in doubt, punch it in the snout.
Keep that mouth shut, give it hell in the eye and nose regions, then run like the dickens.
If you've done serious damage to its vision or if it feels like you could after wrestling with it, it will not follow you.
The information presented to you here today is from Joshua Piven's book, The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook - an excellent on-the-go addition to any hiking pack or bug-out-bag.
However, something like the SAS Survival Handbook will be more practical for everyday use while outdoors.
-Alexander @ Survival Cat
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