Growing up in Florida, seeing alligators was quite literally a daily occurrence. We had them in the lake behind my house. I once found a juvenile alligator in the bathroom of my high school. Back in the Boy Scouts, I remember taking a trip to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary down by Naples and getting to hold some baby gators, but I also remember the tour guide telling us that if we’re ever attacked by an alligator to try and gouge its eyeballs…It turns out, that guide was full of shit.
A 10-year-old girl from Florida, Juliana Ossa, survived an attack from a 9-foot-long alligator at Lake Mary Jane in Orlando, and she did so by prying the alligator’s jaws open with her bare hands. She credits a visit to Gatorland in Orlando for arming her with the knowledge to escape this life-threatening situation. Sure, she sustained puncture wounds to her leg but she’s alive and that’s what matters the most.
As for how she knew what to do in such a terrifying situation, the girl said she learned the escape tactics during a visit to Gatorland, a local wildlife attraction, ABC News reported.There, professional alligator wrangler Donald Aldarelli applauded the girl’s actions. “If you were ever in a position where an alligator were to grab ahold of you, then the nose, not the eyes, the nose is the spot you want to go for,” he told ABC News.Aldarelli marveled at the girl’s ability to pry open the gator’s mouth.“To get an animal with the strongest bite on the planet to let go of you is a miracle,” he said. (via HuffPo’s Nina Golgowski)