A man wrangled an agitated alligator on his neighbor’s lawn in Mount Dora, Florida, on September 28, by trapping it in a large trashcan. He then released it back into a nearby pond.
Video of the moment shows Abdul Gene Malik advancing towards the alligator while holding an open trashcan on its side, while the defensive gator swishes its tail and hisses in response.
Malik continues to push to open mouth of the trashcan toward the alligator. He suddenly flips the hinged lid of the trashcan over the top, knocking the alligator in the head, startling it. With the alligator confused and snapping violently at the lid, Malik quickly pushes the trashcan forward again, forcing the gator inside it, before righting the trashcan, with the alligator’s tail still thrashing, and closing the lid.
A crowd of neighbors watching the operation erupted in cheers as Malik secured the alligator and began rolling the trashcan over the road and down a hill toward a nearby pond. There, he opened the lid and allowed the alligator to head back into the wild.
The resident who captured this video, Roy Bonilla, told Storyful that Malik was “very brave.”
“He just took action at the right time, before something bad could [have] happened,” Bonilla said.
The video went viral online, with many viewers praising Malik. The Orange County government, however, tweeted a reminder that “Alligators are not recyclable in your blue lid cart” and urged people to call Nuisance Alligator Hotline, operated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, rather than try to wrangle alligators themselves. Credit: Roy Bonilla via Storyful