A Texas dad thought his kid was trying to play hooky on her first day of middle school Tuesday morning when she said there was an alligator blocking the home’s front door — but quickly learned the predator was real.
“I’m thinking she’s joking, she’s trying to skip school, not go to school. I say, ‘Just stop! We’re going to school today. Just stop it,” Mike Trinh told Houston’s KPRC2.
“Walked in front like, ‘Holy…yeah, there’s a gator!’”
The large creature was sitting in the family’s Missouri City driveway, keeping Trinh’s daughter from getting to school and him from getting to his restaurant, Mike’s Seafood.
The father tried to call rescue agencies and authorities, but none were available to remove the animal, KSAT reported.
Luckily, that’s when Trinh channeled his childhood hero, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.
“Crickey!” the father said, recalling how years of watching Irwin’s television show taught him that throwing a towel on the head of a crocodile — or alligator in this case — would help calm the reptile down. “I’m doing it.”
As he threw several towels on the alligator, the first of which landed in the animal’s open mouth, he told his 19-year-old daughter to videotape because “no one is going to believe me if I told them!”
After successfully covering the gator’s head, Trinh took his daughter to school but returned to find the animal still in his driveway.
With help from his 19-year-old, Trinh wrangled the reptile and held its mouth closed so it wouldn’t bite his daughter. They then securely wrapped the animal’s deadly jaws closed with duct tape and Jiu Jitsu tape.
A friend helped Trinh load the animal into his car and drove to a nearby pond, where they released it.
“I crossed that off my bucket list: I’m gonna wrestle an alligator today!” Trinh said, adding that he’s thankful no person or alligator was hurt in the madness, and thankful for Steve Irwin.