There were nervous giggles and wide eyes in the stands as Jeff Quattrocchi pinned a 7-foot, 9-inch alligator in a pool on the Bandshell Lawn at the Oklahoma State Fair.
“The Swampmaster” demonstrated Monday how to handle and bulldog an alligator, all the while providing educational information about the American alligator.
Bulldogging is a technique alligator handlers use to tie the animal's jaw shut by sitting on top of the alligator and pinning its jaw between their chest and chin.
Since Thursday, Quattrocchi and Ryan “Forklift” Lippert, head of alligator security, have put on three shows a day, at 12:30,1, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., and will continue their shows for the duration of the fair.
“All the alligators in my show are considered nuisance alligators, sentenced to death by the state of Florida,” Quattrocchi said. “They got too close to people or were chasing someone's dogs.”
He said he has worked out a deal with the alligator trappers to buy the alligators from them, use them in his shows for up to five days, then send them back to his property in Naples, Fla., where they can live out the rest of their lives with his 150 other retired alligators.