FLORIDA: A 22-year-old US girl has become a social media sensation for her braveness in treating and keeping alligators as if it’s like a piece of cake.
Gabby Scampone doesn’t only pats and kisses the giant reptiles but also lies on them and swims with the wild predators and that too fearlessly.
She moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida from New York, in April, to relocate and care alligators who have been deemed threats to their habitats.
She also volunteers at Everglades Holiday Park, where she puts on a daily show wrestling alligators whilst also educating the audience.
The young animal lover has acquired a large following on Instagram by posting photographs and videos of her daily life with the reptiles.
Scampone, in an interview with the Daily Mail said of her job: ‘A lot of people, 95 per cent, think that the alligators are going to chase them and eat them and kill you.
‘They are not going to kill you and attack you for no reason. They don’t want anything to do with you, they are not going to chase you. They are not going to jump out of the water and try to eat you.
‘They want to be left alone. People get bit if they are feeding the alligator, harassing the animal, but they are pretty chill, even in the wild. They don’t want anything to do with you.’
She said: ‘When we go and trap alligators, they are nuisance alligators. A nuisance alligator is any alligator that has been deemed as a threat to people or a threat to a livestock.
‘So sometimes they are in swimming pools or on a golf course, a lot of the time people just don’t want them in their backyard, in their canal or pond. Because they are afraid of them, so we go and we save them.
While she loves her day job, the nature of the emergency-based job means interrupted dates and little time for a social life.
Still, Scampone enjoys the job and volunteering at the park, where her favorite alligator is an elderly reptile named Swamp Thing, who has a permanently broken back leg and a cataract in one eye.
‘Whenever you are working with an animal there are risks, especially with a large predator like this that has so many teeth,’ she said. There are definitely risks, you can get bit.
‘You can lose your hand, you can lose fingers. He can rip your arm off, they are no joke.’
Despite general earning she is often given by the people, Scampone is certain to pursue her dream with alligators by keeping all ten of her fingers. And we wish her great luck in her mission to educate masses about giant reptiles and human behaviour to tackle them.