We know alligator bites are deadly strong, but just how powerful they measure is what we're about to find out.
Producer's Journal: Alligator Bite
By: Denise Kimmel
Arriving at an alligator sanctuary in southern Alabama, we're greeted by someone with a passion for these animals like we've never seen. Wes Moore rescues the gators no one else wants. They're nuisance ones. Ones over 10 feet often trapped for eating too many pet dogs or for hanging around public places just a little too close for comfort. But here, they have a forever home and all been given names. But that doesn't mean they're tame. Not by a long shot.
To measure their bite force, we've brought a scientist who created a measuring rod the alligators bite onto. But to get them out of the water for this test is a monster task.
The plan is to loop a rope around the neck of a full sized alligator. Then Wes and five men hang onto the other end of the rope and try and drag it to a board where they'll strap it down. Something the gators are not at all in favour of!
During the first attempt, the 12 foot alligator pitches, rolls and braces itself against the river bank. The guys are wrestling with their end of the rope, leaning all their combined weights against it -- then something snaps. All the men tumble to the ground, scrambling to keep one eye on the now free gator. The heavy duty brass hook snapped like it was made of plastic. Wes has used before to bring full sized steer down in his cowboy days. This massive alligator just got lucky.
Trying for another test subject, the crew is having better luck. After rushing to strap this 700 pound animal down so no one loses a limb -- or worse -- they're ready to bring in the bite meter. It's something the gator relishes snapping its jaws onto. It's been wanting to grab something in its teeth since the moment that rope went around its neck! And the force measured? Let's just say after finding THAT out, our camera crew (we're about two feet from it) are even MORE relieved the gator is safely secured to a board! That is, until the release ...