June 26, 2001
5:17 AM   Subscribe

Orlando is under attack by alligators: something that isn't that uncommon, but seems particularly bad this year. We're used to losing a hunting dog or two, but when the gators start taking down horses (don't worry, the horse lived) and killing young children in an urban environment, you've got to wonder what's happening. Tip to tourists from a local: if chased by a gator, flee in a zig-zag pattern (gators are pretty fast, but turn like Sherman tanks.)
posted by bclark (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't want to be too tasteless, but:

"A 2-year-old is no match for an alligator," Polk County Medical Examiner Stephen Nelson said Monday

I could have guessed that.
posted by Grangousier at 5:35 AM on June 26, 2001

Serpentine, Serpentine!
posted by machaus at 5:38 AM on June 26, 2001

I live near Jacksonville, and see gators every once in a while (usually on golf courses). That girl could have drowned before the gator showed up -- letting a toddler wander a lakeside neighborhood unsupervised is crazy.

As for running, I've heard that alligators can easily be outrun and that crocodiles are faster and should be avoided by fleeing in a zig-zag pattern. However, that appears to be a myth also: "Humans can out run crocodiles on land, and a straight line is the fastest way of putting distance between yourself and the crocodile."
posted by rcade at 5:44 AM on June 26, 2001

Clearly, they've simply had enough
posted by dong_resin at 6:06 AM on June 26, 2001

Those Sherman tanks were crap....I was reading a book about Stalingrad, and it said most of the Russians would rather build a T-34 from scratch than use the Shermans shipped from the US. They were too easy to blow away.
posted by brucec at 6:20 AM on June 26, 2001

aha! sounds like the mokole are waking up and starting to fight back! go 'gators!
posted by tolkhan at 7:10 AM on June 26, 2001

That's what you get for moving to a swamp. And building Disney World. I'm cheering for the animals.
posted by pracowity at 7:34 AM on June 26, 2001

future history book:

"And a year or so after the Great Debacle in the Election of 2000, the gators decided that Florida was
impotent and easy pickens, and they rose from the swamp in great numbers. Although Governor Jeb Bush made a heroic stand to defend Orlando, the humans were no match for the 1.5 million gators, who sent the measly Florida
National Guard running in zig-zag patterns to avoid being eaten.

"Gov' Bush's appeals to his brother George W. for Federal help went unanswered. We now know that George W. wanted to send the army down, but was overuled by Vice President Cheney, who called the operation "nation-building" and did not want the conservative administration to risk troops in an ugly war we couldn't win. "
posted by brucec at 7:51 AM on June 26, 2001

What is a 2 year old doing wandering outside by herself?! Jesus christ!
posted by glenwood at 8:21 AM on June 26, 2001

I saw a dog attack a canada goose (geese?) yesterday. The owner was standing on the beach and when she noticed, she started screaming:
"BUDDY! BUDDY WHAT ARE YOU DOING! BUDDY NOOOOOOOO!" so I can assume that the dog's name was buddy.
Anyways, the moral is that dogs, much like alligators, should be kept on leashes (yes, I do have a valid point). Some form of alligator control is needed. When I was in Texas/Florida I saw a lot of gators, so I'm not suprised that this is happening.
posted by starduck at 8:22 AM on June 26, 2001

the humans were no match for the 1.5 million gators

According to the Democrats it was 2 million gators. Apparantly they weren't counting gators in black areas.
posted by Grangousier at 9:32 AM on June 26, 2001

Heh heh ... oh, and dong_resin, Gatorland the the bomb and the #1 place I take outsiders to when they arrive to visit me "in the swamp." Where else can you hand feed gators, hold one for a picture, watch them leap out of the water to snatch whole-friers from a wire, watch the wrestled (wrastled?) to the ground bare-handed ... and then eat them deep fried with some tartar sauce! Fun for the whole family!
posted by bclark at 11:22 AM on June 26, 2001

However, that appears to be a myth also: "Humans can out run crocodiles on land, and a straight line is the fastest way of putting distance between yourself and the crocodile."

Now, I'm no expert, but being a native Louisianian and having studied biology for long enough, I'm pretty sure that the animal in the first picture is an alligator. You can tell by the squatty snout and large body. Crocodiles have much narrower snouts (as can be seen in the second picture) and slimmer bodies.

Can anyone else confirm this?
posted by fooljay at 12:26 PM on June 26, 2001

starduck, just a point of curiosity... The geese won the fight right ?(they're mean as heck)
posted by tj at 12:32 PM on June 26, 2001

Now, I'm no expert, but being a native Louisianian...

Being a native Louisianian myself, I have some wonderful potential solutions for this problem.

Alligator Sauce Piquante. Alligator boulettes. Alligator sausage. Fried alligator. Filets of alligator tail, marinated in your favorite tangy marinade, seasoned with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning blend, then put on the grill (over some hickory chips) until perfectly done ... mmmmmmmmmmmmm, alligator.
posted by chuq at 1:20 PM on June 26, 2001

Pull up, man, pull up - you're divebombing straight for Forrest Gump territory!
posted by solistrato at 2:08 PM on June 26, 2001

"chuq", now I'm angry. I took your advice and sent my 2-year-old daughter out with our hunting dog to try to bring back a 'gator for dinner. I haven't seen 'em since 2PM ... and we're starting to get HUNGRY! Guess that means the zig-zag is a myth afterall... who'd thunk?
posted by bclark at 2:16 PM on June 26, 2001

Any thread that can pull off an "In-Laws" reference is ok in my book. Thanks machaus for making my day.
posted by jdiaz at 2:27 PM on June 26, 2001

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