1. An excellent book by the Diagram Group, published in 1981, and containing instructions for many practical, useful and impractical things. For fun and utility alike.
    Examples include:
  2. To hold a crocodile, you need to tie a rope around the end of its mouth; it then cannot get enough leverage to open it. You will also need several strong people.

The musculature of a crocodile brings thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure into its bite, so in holding a croc, the main objective is to not let it close its jaws on any part of you. So, alligator wrestlers and crocodile hunters who hold these animals generally approach them from behind, sometimes straddling the animals back, and then grabbing the animal by the mouth after its jaws are already closed. The same musculature that makes the jaws and effective means of grabbing and holding prey (crocs kill their large prey by drowning, not wounding) is actually very weak when it comes to opening the same jaws (there's no evolutionary advantage to applying lots of force to simply releasing a bite). Thus, a human being can keep a crocodile's mouth closed with a simple two handed grip. Oh, and watch out for the tail. If the croc doesn't want to be held, it will most likely use its powerful, muscular tail to pummel you into letting go-- probably a good reason to straddle its back.

Jean-Philippe Soule, in his 1999 essay, "Dispelling the Crocodile Myth," received this advice from his tour guide, a native of Brazil's Pantanal :

"Don't come to the side of the crocodile. If you do, you get bitten. Walk slowly from behind, put one leg on each side of its body and jump with your hands on its neck. Make sure you keep a good grip just behind the head where the skin is the softest. Press it against the bottom to immobilize it. As you do so, your legs need to be spread apart, and in a position higher on its torso in front of its posterior legs to avoid the powerful and sharp whipping tail. Once immobilized, if it's small enough, you quickly lift it up in front of you."
--Paulo (Soule didn't feel it was important to either cite (or perhaps even learn) his guide's last name), <http://www.caske2000.org/pantanal/pantanal.htm>
Soule had success with this technique with wild crocs (not overfed trophy animals in zoos), but keep in mind that as both a former Special Forces Mountain Commando and manager for Microsoft, he's not afraid of anything.

Or else he's just a raving lunatic.

It should be noted I have no idea how to release a crocodile safely, especially one that may not be in the best mood because it has just been jumped by a tender, juicy hairless mammal with opposable thumbs and a careless disregard for its own hindbrain's instincts to avoid dangerous situations, like holding a fucking crocodile in your bare hands.

If things go wrong, and the crocodile does indeed bite you, and drags you under the water to drown you, forget trying to open his jaws. You can't win that way. Rather, you may have some luck killing the croc first, by gouging its eyes with your fingers (providing they are free) and working them through the orbital cavity directly into the animal's brain.


This write-up for entertainment purposes only. The information provided comes from a) an alligator wrestling demonstration at The Gatorland Zoo, an Orlando tourist attraction, b) the Web, and c) T. Coraghessan Boyle's Water Music, a work of fiction. E2reneta assumes no liability for actions resulting from the reader's interpretation of this information. By reading this write-up, user assumes to indemnify and hold E2reneta harmless from and against any and all loss, liability, and expense or claims for injury or damages arising out of the reading of this write-up. If you really feel the need to hold a crocodile, visit the Billabong Sanctuary in Queensland, which advertises such experiences as part of their ecotourism package, and who are probably insured better than I am.

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