I bet I know exactly what you're thinking right now: Ohhhh my god! Look at that little boy he's sooo cute I could just YIKES! Is that an actual alligator?! Is it alive?! Please tell me that thing is stuffed. Ohhh my god, that gator's gonna eat that baby's fingers for lunch!!
Yup. That IS an actual, living alligator. And that little boy is more than merely cute, he's 3-year-old Charlie Parker, "Australia's Youngest Wildlife Ranger." (I should hope he's the youngest one!!) Apparently gator-wrangling comes naturally to little Charlie -- his dad, Greg Parker, owns Ballarat Wildlife Park in Victoria, Australia. "We didn't go out to encourage it but he just loves reptiles," says Greg. "Like everybody he's frightened of some things ... others not so much."
Hey, I'm all for encouraging kids to follow their dreams and be confident and live fearlessly and all of that stuff. Really.
I think this little boy is amazing. But, as a mom, would I be able to stand back and snap pics while my 3-year-old son played Crocodile Hunter? HELL NO!!
Look, I'm no expert on alligator safety -- maybe the likelihood of getting severely injured while handling wild animals with exceedingly sharp teeth and strong jaws is as low as getting struck by lightning or abducted by a UFO or something, I don't know. Maybe Charlie and his dad know some secret alligator whispering technique that renders the beasts harmless. Who knows? I'm in no position to judge. It's not like anything bad ever happened to the actual Crocodile Hun -- oh wait. Or hey, look at Siegfried and Roy! Those tigers would never hurt -- damn, forgot about that one, too.
This is sooo cute and scary all at the same time:
Would you let your 3-year-old wrestle live alligators?
Image via mel rose/YouTube