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Fence No Match for Gator, But Was It a Fair Fight?

A video of an alligator walking through a metal fence at a Florida golf club like it was nothing went viral last month. When you watch it, it’s clear that the gator is massive, but it also raises the question: was the gator really strong or was it a defective fence?

I asked myself those questions after reading the comments on social media. People compared the animal to a dinosaur and were baffled by its incredible strength. Yeah, I mean, definitely. But one guy questioned the quality of the fence. 

In the video, the alligator barrels through the bars and they widen as the gator crawls through. As the bars bend, the weld on at least one bar pops off. 

At a glance, you might assume the fence is made of steel, but local reports say the fence at the Coral Creek Club in Charlotte County, Florida was made of aluminum, which you could bend with some grit, pull, and a little bit of a vandalism streak. 

Yet, some gator-proof fences are made of aluminum. The difference is that a gator-proof fence is usually anchored about 2 feet deep into a concrete footer. The fence in question clearly was not. 

But there are also several instances of alligators totally owning fences. There are countless images of gators climbing chainlink fences and wooden fences with ease.

As for the other question, I was able to find a few figures to quantify alligator strength. With their massive jaws, their bite strength measures in at 13,172 newtons. That’s bone-crushingly strong. Literally. 

They’ve also been clocked running as fast as 30 mph and swimming as fast as 20 mph. So they’re slightly faster on land than Usain Bolt and almost 3.5 times as fast as Michael Phelps in water. 

In the end, alligators are strong and I don’t think the fence in the video was built to keep them in or out. 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

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