Ten-year-old girl Julian Ossa was swimming at the Moss Park in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday when an alligator attacked her. Surprisingly, despite being scared, she courageously fought the enormous animal thanks to the lessons she acquired at a theme park and wildlife preserve in Orange County.
“I tried hitting it on its forehead to let me go,” Juliana said. “That didn’t work, so I thought of a plan they taught in Gatorland. The guy was wrestling the alligator with its mouth taped, and in this situation, it was the other way around.”
“So I stuck my two fingers up its nose so it couldn’t breathe—it had to breathe from its mouth—and he opened it, so it let my leg out,” said Juliana.
“I was scared at first, but I knew what to do,” she added.
Gatorland heard the news and was impressed that Julian was able to think fast and clear in such dire situation.
“At 10 years old, to have that much wherewithal to do what she did is incredible. We are so proud of her that she got out of there with as little damage as she got,” said Tim Williams of Gatorland.
“Gators are afraid of humans. If you are screaming and making as much scene as possible while also poking the creature in its eyes and ears, there is a good chance the alligator is going to think: "I am used to eating things that don't fight back," and let go of you,” expert Jordon Munns said.
The park’s waterfront was closed temporarily for “an abundance of caution,” according to the manager of Orange County Parks and Recreation Matt Suedmeyer.