Watch The Swampmaster wrangle a wild alligator at the New York Boat Show

Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi will be at the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show daily giving show-goers a chance to hold a live baby alligator. Credit: Contributed
Swampmaster Jeff Quattrocchi will be at the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show daily giving show-goers a chance to hold a live baby alligator. Credit: Contributed


“This show is as real as it gets. I want ‘em mean, and I want ‘em aggressive,” explained the “Swampmaster” Jeff Quattrocchi . The 20-year expert alligator handler doesn’t perform his traveling show with trained animals or pets. He works with one gator only five times before it retires from show biz and goes back to the pond. Anyone who catches his show at the New York Boat Show can see him in action with a 200-pound, eight-foot wild alligator.

It’s a dangerous job – since he got his start working with gators in Florida two decades ago, Quattrocchi has been bitten 14 times. In 2010, a bad bite left him with 37 staples and 26 stitches in his arm. “There are lots of ways to make a mistake handling an alligator, Quattrocchi  said. “But I’m not wrestling them – it’s not a ‘winner and loser’ type of deal. It’s just a friendly show, with lots of excitement.”

There is an educational side to the show as well. Quattrocchi  kicks off his presentation with a bit of Alligator 101. He goes over common reasons they might attack, like defending their nests or territories. He also clears up a few common misconceptions – like the fact that they are much slower runners than people think.

To handle his wild gators, Quattrocchi starts by getting a hold of the animal’s tail and bringing it to the middle of the pool. Then Quattrocchi pins it down by hopping onto its back. Fortunately, it isn’t tough to stay fit on the road, because gator handling is great exercise. “There’s lots of athleticism, balance, and skill involved. He’s got his mouth open the whole time. You take a step, he takes a step.”

When the reptile is finally under Quattrocchi’s  control, he opens its mouth to show the audience 80 sharp teeth.

While they might not be ready to take on a wild gator right away, audience members can still become budding handlers too. At the end of every Swampmaster show, people get a chance to pet baby gators and snap photos with Jeff. “We have a lot of fun with it,” he said.

Catch the Swampmaster Live!

The New York Boat Show 2014 (Jan. 1st – 5th)

Wednesday – Saturday, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m.

Sunday, 11 a.m., 1 p.m, 3 p.m.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.