Here's What To Do If You're Attacked By An Alligator

In this chaotic, thrill-a-minute world of ours, the only responsible course of action is to be prepared. Without the necessary education, you might find yourself fan boating through the murky shallows of the Louisiana bayou in the soft light of dusk, leaning over the side to get a better look at the shimmering waters, when all of a sudden, boom. You realize that the public education system never taught you how to prepare your taxes or what your rights as a renter look like and that you're woefully unprepared for life on your own.

Or, if you'd prefer, you might get attacked by an apex predator from the dawn of time. It's less likely – Time reports that an average of only 10 alligator attacks occur in the U.S. per year — but it's a more exciting prospective nightmare than realizing you're locked into an upside down mortgage. What do you do when Florida's biome decides to turn you into a Peter Pan villain?

Seek Gator Aid

In an interview with Business Insider, animal expert Corbin Maxey gave a verbal treatise on what to expect when you're expecting to get attacked by an alligator.

As in all aspects of life, the key seems to be trying your best. "You want to fight back, you want to give it your all," says Maxey, "because that will more than likely allow the alligator to release you — they're going to realize, oh gosh, I don't want to deal with this." He notes that alligators don't often attack humans on purpose, and that a flailing, kicking reminder that we're not worth the effort might be key to getting out alive. Maxey is careful to avoid any old-timey advice about gouging the gator's eyes or smacking it on the snout, noting that any attack based on accuracy is going to be tough to pull off when you have 3,000 pounds of reptilian bite force turning you into lizard kibble. This is one of those rare, glorious occasions when the best thing to do is panic, scream, and flail. Dignity be damned. Throw a temper tantrum.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of kicking alligators, and your premium move is to leave the beasts alone. They're most likely to attack if you get close to their nests or hang out next to the water dressed like a delicious deer. Don't do that and you'll probably be fine.