A video (below) recently surfaced of a young girl riding on the back of a giant alligator.
The girl sits on the 8-foot reptile, Bubba, as the creature crawls around. The video was originally filmed in 2013, notes Mirror Online.
She gets off the alligator, but is told to get back on while her mother films with a cell phone.
Sarah Gzemski, a writer for Viral Nova, questioned the stunt:
It's important to remember that not only are the children at risk, but the alligators are, too. Unlike horses, camels, or pack animals, an alligator's back is not built to support the weight of a human.
This interaction could have easily gone wrong and resulted in one (or more) injured people. Asking a full-grown gator to perform parlor tricks is no life for a wild animal. Animals that cannot survive on their own in the wild should not be subjected to inhumane treatment in captivity.
According to Gzemski, the alligator came from Jim Nesci’s Cold Blooded Creatures, which is based in Chicago.
The Cold Blooded Creatures website says that it promotes "conservation through education," and gives some background on the gator and Nesci:
Bubba the alligator is a phenomenon! He is the one and only North American Alligator who takes commands from his trainer, Jim. Bubba came to Jim as a rescue from the Chicago area. Of all the animals he has ever trained, Bubba is his pride and joy. Jim’s experience and patience has created a trust between them, that goes beyond the norm of pet and trainer.
He is a unique individual who builds bonds with special needs children and adults alike. He amazes teachers and audiences wherever he performs. He has appeared in schools, hospitals, museums and various TV shows and advertisements. Bubba is over 8 feet long, and weighs over 200 pounds.