Video Shows a Man Rescuing Injured Alligator Using a Rope

The reptile was displaced by Hurricane Ian.

An injured alligator was rescued after being stranded on Anna Maria Island on Florida's Gulf Coast. The 7-foot gator was close to death when a trapper used a rope to get it off the island, something he says was a first. The injured gator had washed out to the island after Hurricane Ian caused mass displacement of wildlife, and was suffering a broken leg. Here's how people on the island responded to the strange sight, and what ended up happening to the gator.

1
Stranded Reptile

Fox13 Tampa Bay

The gator was washed out to Anna Maria Island and ended up getting stuck there. "While the American alligator prefers freshwater lakes and slow-moving rivers and their associated wetlands, they are seen in brackish water habitats occasionally," wildlife commission spokesperson Tammy Sapp says. "Alligators can swim in and tolerate saltwater for a short period of time, but it is not their preferred habitat." Keep reading to learn more and see the video.

2
Rescued

Fox13 Tampa Bay

The gator was rescued by a professional trapper, who managed to get a rope around the reptile's head. Video footage shows the alligator doing barrel rolls and fighting back before it walked over to a sidewalk where a Manatee County deputy is waiting. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Holmes Beach Police Department both helped the trapper successfully rescue the gator.

3
Welcome Gator

Holly Newman/Facebook

Locals were surprised and excited to see the gator in such an unusual place and posted pictures and videos of the encounter. "Displaced by hurricane Ian this Gator just found on our beautiful white sandy beaches of Bean Point on Anna Maria Island," one person said. "My morning walk in the north shore was so exciting… a lost Gator from the storm washed up in Anna Maria," another person said.

4
Rescued, But Euthanized

large alligator
Shutterstock

The alligator was sadly euthanized after the successful rescue, possibly because of its injuries. Alligators are usually euthanized if they become too tame and unafraid of humans—five gators in Mississippi had to be put down after being fed by humans. "We had some information come in from concerned citizens," said Lt. Tracy Tullos of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. When officers went to investigate the situation, "it was very obvious. Those alligators that approached us, there was no doubt they had become conditioned."

5
No Fear

Alligator
Shutterstock

Once alligators see humans as a source of food, the situation becomes dangerous, experts say. "I've never encountered alligators that were that conditioned in a wild situation," said Ricky Flynt, the state department's alligator program coordinator. "We're talking about alligators that were coming to a bridge as soon as you stopped on it and coming from as far as 450 yards away. … This was something that was going on there for a while… Alligators are apex predators, and they are wild animals. When someone has been feeding an alligator, they begin to lose their fear of humans and associate them with a source of food."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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