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November 12, 2018

Fla. man injured after jumping into crocodile pond at St. Augustine Alligator Farm

November 7, 2018
Jim Darlington takes a phone call while cleaning up Hurricane Matthew debris at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, in St. Augustine, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (Brendan Farrington / AP)

Surveillance video from a Florida alligator farm captured the moment a man sporting only his boxers broke into a new exhibit and then jumped into a pond filled with crocodiles.

The intruder arrived at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park around 7:45 p.m. Monday and damaged property at the snack bar before “inexplicably” entering the recently-opened Nile Crocodile enclosure, called “Oasis on the Nile.”




St. Augustine Police the following morning responded to reports of a suspicious man crawling around in a nearby back yard in his underwear. When they arrived at the residence around 6:50 a.m., the man told them he’d been bitten by an alligator, according to WOKV.

Footage from the Florida farm sees the man breaking into the park and walking along the fences between exhibits as though they were balance beams.

“The suspect climbed atop a structure displaying Egyptian artwork, Gaboon vipers, and jumped into the pool with the crocodiles,” according to a press release from the gator farm.

“At one point, the crocodiles attacked the individual, causing wounds to his leg.”

The unidentified man in the end was able to hoist himself onto a platform for the attraction’s zip line feature and escape.

When staff showed up to work Tuesday morning,they initially believed they were being pranked when they spotted a pair of Crocs and shorts in the crocodile pool. But when they discovered blood near the zip line, they opted to call the police.

The intruder was arrested, though its not yet clear what charges he could face. He remains in Flager Hospital, where he is recovering from his injuries.

No crocodiles were injured in the bizarre stunt and damage to the property is still being assessed.

Alligator Farm Director John Brueggen said he was keeping the injured man in his thoughts and emphasized that “the zoo is extremely concerned about visitor safety and security,” but that “protection against the lunacy and erratic nighttime trespassers in nearly impossible.”

It calls to mind a similar 1999 incident in Sea World, where a 27-year-old man was found dead after climbing into the killer whale tank after the park closed for the night.

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