Jill Layton
May 15, 2015 12:16 pm

Students and faculty at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, Florida, had an eventful morning yesterday. This may sound like a dangerous (but pretty epic) end-of-school-year prank put on by the seniors — but it’s not. It’s a real-life thing that happened, and it’s terrifying.

A 5-foot alligator showed up on campus as students arrived for classes in the morning. Both the students and the administration were quickly ushered into the auditorium where they safely waited until the alligator was no longer a threat — because as it turns out, anything that can eat a human isn’t super welcome at a school.

An expert reptile trapper was called in to remove the alligator — and he did it in the most amazing Crocodile Dundee way. The trapper used a special trapping stick to distract the gator, then wrestled it until he had complete control. He then managed to tape the mouth shut and roped the arms and legs. And then, like the hero he is, he threw the gator over his shoulder and escorted it off campus — hopefully back to a swamp somewhere.

Check out an aerial shot of the entire wrestling match:

It’s common for alligators to show up at public places in Florida, mainly because an estimated 1.3 million alligators live in the state. But if you encounter a gator it’s seriously important to immediately call for back-up. The Tampa Bay WTSP News was one of the local channels to report the story, and they offered some solid alligator advice on their website: “The best thing to do if you see an alligator is stay away from them. Don’t try to feed it, touch it or scare it. Alligators become more aggressive when the weather warms up, especially since mating season is just around the corner.”

So, to all of our friends in Florida and surrounding alligator-populated states — be careful out there! Even though it’s possible the alligator just wanted to get an education, we are relieved this story had a happy ending with no injuries.

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