Wildlife Expert Explains Details of Gator Attack

Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami, weighs in on alligator attacks.
4:20 | 06/15/16

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Transcript for Wildlife Expert Explains Details of Gator Attack
Joining us with more information, Ron Magill, a wildlife expert and communications director for zoom Miami. Thanks for being with us, Ron. My pleasure, Amy. We saw how rare attacks like that are. But what could have caused an alligator unprovoked to go after a 2-year-old. Well, a 2-year-old, you know, the alligator is not look at it as a human being, a dog, a small raccoon. The child was in the water. Alligators are not intelligent but instinctive and ambush predators so something small in the water looks at it as food. Alligators have come out of the breeding season. Males have traveled around all different bodies of water so it doesn't surprise me that the alligators are there and this child was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, tremendously tragic. Ron, the father wrestled with the gator and how strong are the gators and did the father even have a chance to rescue his son? Well, you always have a chance. I don't know how large this gator was. My suspicion is it's probably over eight feet long. You always have a chance. I mean I know if it was my son I would have done the same thing but it's very difficult and these animals are very powerful, incredibly powerful. There is no way you'll open the jaws of that gator and get the child out of the gator's jaws but, you know you might be able adistract the gator and it is impossible to open the jaws of an alligator. It was movie night there at the grand floridian. Did the time of day play a role at all in the alligator's attack? Well, certainly they're more active and they can, you know, be more of an ambush predator but these animals are basically ambush predators waiting for something to come down to the water. When they see movement they're looking at it as something that is an animal in distress, easy prey is what they're going after. Look, I was a reporter in South Carolina. We were always running to the scene of an alligator on a golf course or near a bus stop so we know they're prevalent in the south but just give us a sense of how often they attack and are they typically aggressive? They're not typically aggressive. There's well over a million alligators in the state of Florida alone and the bottom line is all the canals and lake, it's like a freeway system for

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