Near disastrous alligator attack caught on film [VIDEO]

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Being an expert doesn't necessarily translate into being safe, at least when it comes to wild animals, as North Carolina scientist Fred Boyce discovered on Wednesday.

Fred Boyce is an employee of the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. After a passing motorist spotted a 10 foot long, 200 pound alligator sunning itself on the side of the road and called authorities, Boyce arrived at the scene just after first responders.

Boyce has handled alligators before, and stepped in and attempted to "gator wrangle" the animal by himself. Wildlife officials had been called but were still hours away.

The results were not good, and in fact, were nearly disastrous. The alligator grabbed Boyce in its jaws and gave him a violent shake before letting him go. Boyce appeared on “Good Morning America” on Friday morning and discussed the incident. He said that he was lucky the animal was “nice” to him. If the gator had bit down on him with its full strength, it could have taken his arm off at the shoulder.

Alligators are known to have extremely strong jaws. However, as popularized by many, those jaws are strong when it comes to clamping down. They are "relatively" weak when it comes to opening, so alligator wranglers can hold their jaws shut as a safety measure. An adult human can hold an alligator's jaws shut barehanded. It is common today to use duct tape, wrapped several times around the gator's jaws, in order to prevent an adult alligator from opening its mouth when handled or transported.

Natively, alligators are limited to the United States and China. According to Wikipedia, an adult American alligator's average size is a weight of 800 pounds (360 kg) and a length of 13 feet (4.0 m) long. That said, an American alligator can grow to 14.5 feet (4.4 m) long and weigh over 1,000 pounds (450 kg). The largest American alligator ever recorded was found in Louisiana and measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.84 m). Meanwhile, the Chinese alligator, a smaller animal, rarely exceeds 7 feet (2.1 m) in length.

Watch the video, originally aired on ABC on Friday morning, below.

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Image source wikimedia Commons

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