Watch A Texas Man Disguise Himself As An Alligator And Boldly Swim Among Them

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Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Head-on view of large alligator
© meunierd/

If you ever happen to spot a gator, your initial reaction may be to flee. That’s probably the sanest when you encounter one of these modern dinosaurs. They’re massive, their bite can break your bones, and they can eat you whole if they’re large enough.

It’s not a creature of nature you want to get playful with. However, this Texas man, Gary Saurage of Gator Country Adventure Park and Sanctuary, decides that he does want to play. He conducts an experiment during which he wears an alligator-like suit on his back. It’s not what you might imagine initially.

The suit is not one of those full-body costumes. No, this one seems a little bit more makeshift. The video starts as a large, lifted truck pulls up with the words “gator country” plastered on the driver and passenger side doors.

Then, it shows you an image of an alligator in the water being the ominous creature it is. Next, the driver of the large, lifted truck steps out of the vehicle and lands on the dirt. He’s wearing blue jeans and brown boots with the Texas flag imprinted on them.

Welcome to Texas sign on an open road

Gary Saurage is from Gator Country, located in Beaumont Texas.

©Nick Fox/

That’s Texas for you! Proud in every sense of the word. Then, the video goes back to the image of the gator in the water — except this time, what you discover is that it’s not actually the original gator in the water. It’s the man in the suit.

You realize the remarkable resemblance once you see the suit in action. Once the man is in the water, the suit completely conceals his body. He comes up out of the water, his blue eyes and light skin camouflaged with black paint he’s spread over his face. He’s wearing black clothes and a black hat as well.

Then the man starts narrating. His name is Gary. He explains the immense love he has for this work. He says, “It’s a deadly job, but I can’t see myself doing anything else.” Talk about passion! Gary goes on to introduce Big Al, the largest alligator in the state.

Where Can You Find Alligators in the United States?

Although Big Al may be the biggest gator in Texas, alligators are native to China and Mexico, and when many think gators they think of Louisiana and Florida. Alligators are native to the warm, humid southeastern states where marshes are their preferred habitat. The states with the most gators are Louisiana and Florida, with Alabama a distant third. It may be surprising to learn that North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi have gators in their coastal regions. Southern Georgia, eastern Texas, and the southeast tip of Oklahoma also have alligators. There is even a small population in Arkansas!

alligator with its mouth hanging open

The states with the largest number of alligators are Louisiana and Florida.

©Deborah Ferrin/

How Dangerous Are Alligators?

Even though watching the news might make it feel like alligator attacks are commonplace, there have actually been just 401 registered alligator bites in Florida (which is often seen at the alligator capital of the world) since 1948 — that’s only around 5 per year!

Alligators are fast swimmers but they prefer to prey that is an easy target. In fact, alligators are usually scared of humans!

However, when alligators do decide to engage, they can run at speeds up to 30 mph on land. In the water, where they struggle to see, they can swim up to 20 mph.

There are around 5 alligator attacks per year in Florida, so it’s best to follow the sign’s advice.

©Chad Robertson Media/

While in the video below it might seem like alligators are slow-moving and sedentary creatures, this perceived laziness is actually them purposely conserving energy.

So, even though it is rare for an alligator to attack a human, you’d be wise to not test fate! The American alligator has one of the world’s strongest bite forces; its bite force strength is next after the Nile crocodile, great white shark, and saltwater crocodile – ouch!

However, Gary is known for catching alligators in the wild. He knows that there’s nothing more dangerous than looking like an alligator. These are territorial creatures. He won’t go unnoticed — the alligator will challenge the perceived threat.

Gary acknowledges that it would have zero issues making a meal out of him. Yet, he still approaches the alligator while its mouth is gaping open. He even gives that gator a kiss. For the real action, you have to watch the video!

Other Amazing Animal Videos You Might Like

While it could seem a little strange or extreme for Gary to be disguising himself as an alligator, it turns out that humans aren’t the only animals who pretend to be alligators to get closer to alligators and other reptiles!

In the video below, you can see a jaguar swim like an alligator to ambush what looks like an alligator but is actually a caiman. As the video begins, the jaguar is taking a stealthy approach to its attack by swimming smoothly and speedily through the water toward the reptile sunning itself on the sand.

Once it has crept out of the water, the cat starts to move closer to its prey until it suddenly runs and pounces, grabbing the caiman, putting it in a chokehold, biting down on its head, and running off with its kill to have its meal in the safety of its jungle territory. Check out all the action in the video!

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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