Nearly 200 people cheered and shrieked as one Florida man wrangled and captured a 10-foot alligator outside an elementary school in Jacksonville.
MMA fighter and veteran Mike Dragich is seen in a video posted May 22 to his Instagram account (bluecollar-brawler) struggling with the large animal 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.
Dragich is also an alligator trapper, according to his social media.
Since it was posted, the video has garnered more than 1,000 comments commending the sleeveless tank-clad Florida man’s fight with the gator, as well as his hulking and exposed arms.
He is seen grabbing the gator by the tail and dragging it until the animal freed itself again. Dragich then resorted to a catch pole and is 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.
“I felt like Batman, for real, you know,” he told the station.
Dragich and several firefighters are able to hold the gator down as the crowd cheers, presumably punctuating a successful capture.
“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.
We’re in the full swing of alligator season in Florida, which typically runs from May to June, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
It’s not uncommon to find large alligators in places they don’t belong, looking for a mate, at this time of year.
There are roughly 1.3 million alligators in the state of Florida and they can be found in all 67 counties, the FWC says.
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