Skip to comments.Mom Takes Down Alligator at Florida Middle School
Posted on 03/22/2013 4:40:46 PM PDT by nickcarraway
When a pushy 7-foot alligator tried to break through a chain-link fence onto the Clermont Middle School campus on Thursday, Lake County mom Jessica McGregor took charge.
McGregor, whos also a Lake County deputy, didnt want to wait nearly two hours for a distant trapper to show up and cart the offending party off to his destiny as an expensive purse. Especially when the final bell of the school day was ringing and parents were picking up students.
Ive lived in Lake County my whole life. Back in the day, you had these things come up on your land, and you just caught em up and threw em back in the nearest watering hole, said
You didnt feel the need to waste anybodys time.
No, of course not. Shooting is a quick and effective disposal option, but its so messy. Not to mention that it freaks out parents and sends students home screaming.
Kids walk right down that sidewalk by the fence and it was slashed open in some places. I didnt want to risk the gator getting scared and breaking through the fence and getting into traffic on Pitt Street or grabbing a kid, she said.
So the mother of two daughters one pre-schooler and a toddler fetched 30 feet of rope, tied a noose and lassoed the would-be intruder.
She dragged him out of bushes where hed hidden and hung onto him when he tried to make a break for the retention pond from which he likely came.
I got him turned around and he started to spin and flop and jump. Once he got tired, he just laid there and wiggled his tail. I threw the rope over him and dropped down with my knees behind his front legs, she said. He jerked around a little bit and just gave up.
Jessica got her hands around the creatures snout to keep his jaws closed and pulled his head up. She taped up his jaws and stood up.
While all this was going on Thursday afternoon, a Clermont police officer who had been called to the scene watched from a safe distance.
He told me straight up, I have no idea how to handle alligators. I said, Thats OK. You wait till I get him ready, Jessica said.
The Clermont officer proved useful in keeping gawkers away. Well, except for one.
A guy on a moped was trying to take a picture. Im like, Really dude? You need to leave I dont need a distraction, Jessica said.
Indeed. Wrestling an obviously ticked off prehistoric crocodilian requires focus.
Jessica said she learned this particular skill from her brother Evan Bailey, who works as a clerk in the sheriffs records department and who is hoping to land a job as a deputy.
His reaction when he heard of his sisters exploit: Why didnt you call me? Yeah. Clearly, this is not a family that worries about the retention of limbs and digits. They dont have to ask who won because they already know.
The pair used to capture alligators for fun as they were growing up off Oswalt Road south of Clermont back when U.S. Highway 27 was two lanes.
I wanted to be with my brother, so I had to be tough, Jessica said.
Her mother used to get annoyed when they proudly dragged their catch up to the front door. You cant just catch those and bring them home, her very practical mom would patiently explain.
Now that Jessica is a mother with children of her own, the first thing shes going to do when the girls get big enough is initiate them into the delights of gator wrestling, right? Maybe they could start with a 3-footer and a snazzy pink noose. Theyd have the best show-and-tell at Clermont Elementary, yes?
Eh, no, Jessica said emphatically. No way.
Video at site.
Amazingly, no one ever got hurt.
It was the most excitement we had.
Counting down ‘til some Y-chromer asks how much she charges.
I used to catch turtles as a kid. Sadly in MN we don’t have any gators to catch. :*(
I hear they produce pretty tasty meat, halfway between the flavor of pork and chicken.
Kick butt moms... yes, we exist.
I saw one in Louisiana and I was surprised that they are actually ‘afraid’ of people.
I can just hear the kids bragging, “My momma rassles ‘gators!”
KICK BUTT MOM SALUTE!!!!
If something had boots made out of you, wouldn’t you be scared?
A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
Yep, that’s about it. Gator nuggets are delicious.
30 years ago it was called “COOTER”....I don’tknow what they call the meat today!!
We still have a few real Floridians around.
Did you watch the video?
Does sound kinda fun......so long as there's a happy ending.
It's kind of odd, and probably just a quirk, but the only time I ever saw animal controll catch a gator, that person was a woman.(just off Swann Ave, in Hyde Park, next to the grocery store)
My former husband, and the vast majority of Florida born men I know personally, all wrestled gators for “fun” in their youth.
Gators are why most Floridians will only swim in man made pools. Most of us were born elsewhere, but we quickly learn that any freshwater body of water, including retention ponds in the middle of town, are gator habitats.
Most snakes are too. Moccasins, however, have enough tude for all the others.