Meet the 9-year-old alligator wrangler

May 16, 2017 1:46 pm Last Updated: May 16, 2017 1:46 pm

In many ways, Samantha Young is like most kids in the elementary school age bracket. The 9-year-old loves to have friends over to hang out at her house. Of course, Samantha Young is a bit different from most kids, because when Samantha shows off her special talent of wrestling 8-foot-long alligators into submission.

Samantha and her family live on the Colorado Gators Reptile Park. “I have been wrestling alligators since I was six,’ Samantha says. “I was taught by my father and mother to take on the gators and my dad has been wrestling and around them since he was bitten by one aged five.” She added: “I need to know how to wrestle them because they are all around me so it is safer that way. And it looks cool for when my friends come round to the park. I like the looks on adults’ faces when they see me do it and I show them how.”

Jay Young, the park’s owner and Samantha’s father, says that knowing how to wrestle gators is very important, as the family lives on a farm with 350 alligators, some of which weigh as much as 600 pounds. As anyone can tell you, gators are not to be trifled with, as they are nature’s perfect killing machines.

Now, at the age of just 13, Samantha Young feeds, helps catch and transport the animals, and even teaches other people how to handle alligators.

Family-run park: Samantha kisses the chin of a 300lb alligator as her dad Jay Young sits on it along with his nephew Branston Stokley and wife Erin Young
Handler: Samantha and her father handle an alligator as she teaches a Gator Wrestling Class at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park
Experience: Samantha, pictured feeding some of the alligators at the park, was given her first pet alligator at the age of two
At work: While the 13-year-old has been bitten twice, she has not experienced any serious injuries