‘Punch it in the nose’: 4 tips on how to handle an alligator encounter

PONCHATOULA, La. --  It’s getting warmer and that means Louisiana's number one predator is out and active in our area -- the gator.

Alligator attacks happen more often than you think, which is why News with a Twist reporter Adam Bowles got up close to a gator to show you what you need to do if you come across this intimidating reptile. 

With jaws that can break human bones in a single bite, here are some gator facts you really need to know.

“There are 4 million people that live in Louisiana, and there are about 3 1/2 million alligators that live here with us,” says Mike Kleibert, better known as T-Mike the Gator King.

Here are some tips from T-Mike, owner of Kliebert's Alligator Farm in Ponchatoula:

  • Don't get too close!

“Well basically before the attack even occurs, you want to keep a safe distance from the alligator,” T Mike says.

  • Punch it in the nose!

"Motions that detect vibration in the water, but when you punch him or anything hits him, that is how a lot of egg collectors collect eggs. They take a stick and bob it on the nose and it sends a shock wave to his skull, making him want to back up and not get bobbed again."

  • Jam something in the nostrils!

"Forcing that muscle to open, and when that nostril opens in the water, water will run into the lungs and pretty much drown a gator in a heart beat or he will let go whatever he’s biting.”

  • Don't ever feed them!

“Once you introduce food between us and the gator, he loses his natural fear and is no longer afraid of us, and when that happens it means he’s fearless and he will straight up walk up to you or swim up to you thinking that you are a source of food.”

One thing you can’t play around with is your safety, so be smart, keep your distance, and don’t try this at home.