9. If attacked, fight back.

This is, of course, easier said than done in the fury and shock of an attack, but one must do what is necessary to survive.An alligator executing a ‘death roll.’

As mentioned above, the alligator doesn’t like much trouble when taking food – it prefers an easy meal. If it seizes prey, and the prey fights back hard, the alligator may release it, depending on factors such as it’s own size relative to that of the victim, it’s own level of aggression, and its measure of hunger. Merely struggling to break free may not be enough counter-aggression to stop a ‘gator, and may actually prompt a devastating “death roll” response, in which the reptile furiously spins on its body’s central axis to tear muscle and bone free of the victim’s body.

The image above captures the alligator’s dramatic rolling maneuver; this is not shown to scare, but to demonstrate the reality of this animal’s abilities. Remember, the chance of you ever having to deal with this situation is remote at best. (Image: © istockphoto/ntripp)

These armored saurian are among the toughest beasts in the animal kingdom, so an attack victim should channel his or her nervous energy and will to survive and take the offensive by fighting hard. Not struggling…fighting very, very, very hard. Others on hand during such an event may be able to help by fighting the reptile, too. This should include punching the snout, poking the eyes, and even jabbing the ears, which are seen as small slits behind the eyes.

Remember: You’re far more likely to be hurt or killed in a car crash than to be attacked by a gator.