Whenever you go camping in the wild, you are entering a wild habitat. You are entering the homes of wild, often dangerous, creatures. Even State and National parks are often only semi-tamed. When camping, or RVing, an encounter with wildlife is always a possibility. Some of these encounters could lead to injury or death.
The United States averages just less than one fatal alligator attack each year. Statistically, that makes them more dangerous than cougars, but less dangerous than snakes. Statistics, however, only look at the number of deaths, not your likelihood of walking away from a direct attack.
“Experts” try to tell us that the low number of attacks prove we are ignorant and that alligators are less dangerous than we believe. But, on the contrary, it may only prove that people are generally smart enough to stay at a safe distance from these man-eating death machines. The experts also tell us that humans are not the alligator’s preferred meal. It may surprise you that the alligator’s preferred food is living things stupid enough to intrude on alligator habitats. Experts also tell us that alligators have a natural fear of humans, apparently not counting the ones they attack.
An alligator has 80 teeth, can bite down with 3,000 pounds psi of force, and is extremely quick and agile with short bursts of energy. They also have an instinctive tactic known as a “death roll”, which is a maneuver designed to both incapacitate and dismember their prey. This means you will drown about the same time as it rips you limb from limb.
While an alligator has tremendous biting force, it has weak muscles for opening its mouth, so you can supposedly keep an alligator from biting you by holding its jaws shut. You can also, supposedly, keep a skunk from spraying you by holding its tail down. The flaw in this logic, however, is that you have to be stupid enough to get that close to either before they even think about attacking you, and you have to overlook the fact that you will eventually need to let go.
Following, is advice from the experts for avoiding a gator attack. I have also added a few tips that they must have overlooked (enclosed in [brackets]).
DISCLAIMER: I am not an expert. My advice might get you eaten by alligators. Encounter alligators at your own risk.
HOW TO SURVIVE AN ALLIGATOR ATTACK
1. Always remain at a safe distance from alligators and never provoke them (did you need to be told that?).
2. The best way to avoid an alligator attack is to avoid alligators (seriously, this advice comes from the experts).
3. Never swim in alligator-inhabited waters, especially at night. It is usually impossible to outswim an alligator. Only the best Olympic swimmers would have any chance of outswimming an alligator.
4. There is more safety in numbers, since there would be more eyes to watch for gators. [Also, theoretically, the odds of you being the preferred meal, would decrease.]
5. Stay away from the shoreline of gator-infested waters, especially weedy areas.
6. Avoid ponds, marshes, rivers, lakes, [and states] where alligators live.
7. [If you feel the need to visit alligator-dwelling states (mostly the coastal waters from North Carolina to Texas), do so in the winter when alligators are often dormant.]
8. If you encounter an alligator (a non-attacking one), back away slowly.
9. NEVER feed alligators, anything. Never harass an alligator. Never try to get a selfie with one. Never camp near their home.
10. If an alligator attacks, run away in a straight line [but tell the fat guy with you to run in a zig-zag path]. Most healthy adults can outrun gators on land, if given a good head start, and positive encouragement.
12. If you get bit, fight back ferociously. Hit, kick, bite. Try to gouge out its eyes, and punch its sensitive nose (sorry sensitive animal-lovers, we are just an insignificant person trying to live another day).
13. Roll with the death roll. Theoretically, this prevents the alligator from ripping your limb off, the alligator will use up too much energy, and you can resume your counter-attack. Theoretically.