NEW YORK (VINnews) — A US army veteran living in Florida went to remove his garbage last week and ended up an unlikely hero after he managed to capture a wild alligator by enticing it into his garbage can. The man required nerves of steel to succeed first in persuading the alligator to place its head inside the garbage can and then closing the lid of the can on the furiously fighting alligator. The man then tipped the garbage can upright and brought the alligator back to a nearby river.
A video of the exploits of the man, 26-year-old Eugene Bozzi of Mount Dora, Fla., went viral on social media.
“It was spur of the moment thinking,” Bozzi told the New York Post of his “only in Florida” alligator drama, which happened Tuesday at his home in Mount Dora.
Bozzi, who hails from Philadelphia, may not have initially been aware what he would be facing. He said that he “heard a little commotion outside. My daughter was riding a bike, and she was like, ‘Hey this big alligator just hissed at me!’ “
Bozzi recounted what happened next: “I went over there and it was bigger than me. There were other peoples’ kids out there, also. Military instinct kicked in — and, you know, ‘protect at all costs.’ “
Bozzi pushed the plastic recycling bin towards the steadily retreating alligator but then with a sharp forward movement succeeded in making the alligator push its head into the bin, at the same time knocking the bin’s lid down on the alligator’s head and preventing it from escaping backwards. Lifting the bin upwards, Bozzi succeeded in dropping the thrashing reptile’s body into the bin after which he took it to a nearby lake and released it from captivity. The alligator then disappeared into the bushes near the lake.
When asked why he used a recycling bin, Bozzi told The Post that it was “big enough to scare him into thinking that’s a mouth,” adding “cuz I watch a lot of ‘Animal Planet’ videos, and he’s going to think that I’m like a hippo or something.”