Watch: A fisherman gets the fright of his life as he narrowly escapes an enormous swamp gator

Watch: A fisherman gets the fright of his life as he narrowly escapes an enormous swamp gator

If you haven’t seen the video of the father and daughter on a leisurely kayaking trip in southern Louisiana being surprised by a gigantic alligator, you must have been under a rock the last few days. Don’t worry, though, because we’ve got it here.

This is as exciting as a kayaking trip without white water will get.

big gator at the end of the line

From the Daily Mail:

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A father was enjoying a fishing trip with his daughter in Louisiana when they were surprised by a massive alligator, which sent the 11-year-old in tears as the father screamed: ‘That’s a big a** gator, buddy!’

Lance Burgos noticed a pool noodle had been bobbing up and down in the waters of Fausse Pointe State Park the entire day, and couldn’t resist pulling on it to see what was on the other end.

Watch the thrilling moment the giant gator emerges with its toothy snout, scaring the father daughter pair who made a narrow escape in their kayak.

Here’s the video, and then we’ve got a little perspective to offer.

The estimate was the gator’s head was eighteen inches across and three feet long. Typically, a gator’s eyes are about two-thirds of the way toward the back of his head and the most scientifically accurate way to project a gator’s size is to measure, in inches, the distance from between his eyes to the tip of his snout and then convert those inches to feet for the total length of the gator. So if that estimate was true, and it probably was a little bit of an exaggeration, then that distance would have been about 24 inches and the gator would have been 24 feet long.

Gators don’t get that big. The largest alligator ever caught in the United States was 19 feet, 2 inches long. This one could easily have been 13 or 14 feet, though – it’s not all that uncommon for a massive gator of such a size to show up in the Louisiana bayous.

As horror-movie terrifying as that video might be, the reality is Burgos wasn’t actually in all that much danger. If you watch a lot of Swamp People you might get the impression that a gator on the end of a line will thrash about and be violent when pulled to the surface, but that’s actually pretty rare.

Gators tend to be fairly lazy creatures and not all that aggressive unless they’re hungry. Most alligator hunters will tell you that bringing gators in from a line is fairly simple – you reel them in slowly and they don’t tend to offer a whole lot of resistance, and then when they get to the surface you just point your gun at the small spot behind their heads and pull the trigger. A dead gator is a monstrously heavy item to lift into the boat, but we’re not exactly talking about The Old Man And The Sea here.

So while we’re not minimizing Burgos’ scare by any means – it might be really easy to sit behind a keyboard and say this was no big deal, because it would rightly freak any of us out and he understandably told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he and his daughter were going to have nightmares about the experience – the good news is he was unlikely to have been in mortal danger.

And we all got to see a good show out of his experience, right?

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