Viral TikTok Shows Gator Wrangler Bravely Hop in Tank to Clean Huge Gators

This bold wild animal lover proved to his TikTok audience that he is assuredly not afraid of the reptiles when he hopped into a pool of alligators to give them a bath.

Chris Gillette, better known as @gatorchris1 to his TikTok audience, frequently posts informational videos about alligators as well as his day-to-day interactions with them in Florida. In one of his most recent posts on Sunday, he shows viewers just how up close and personal he gets with the alligators in his care at the Everglades Holiday Park.

Gillette starts his video hopping into a gator enclosure wearing a pair of flip-flops and wielding a large broom, and wades in the shallow water to get the reptiles moving where they need to go in order to get their cleaning.

"Alright guys, just starting another morning cleaning video," he says. "Let's go, everybody out, let's go!"

He then circles the area filled with alligators and uses his hands and feet to maneuver them around the tank enclosure.

The gators in the enclosure appear to be about four feet in length, and there are at least 10 in the waters.

"Let's move, come on," he says as he taps one gator's back with his foot. "Let's go children."

As he turns around, one gator stares at his footwear. Gillette steps back and puts the broom's head between them, and the gator loses interest and turns away.

"Get out of the way," Gillette says as he gently pushes his head away with his foot. "Come on!"

Slowly but surely, the alligators all move, except for two who have found a comfortable napping spot above the enclosure's drain.

"Got to move this big guy right here," he says, tapping the gator's belly and shaking his back with his foot. "Hey, you're on my drain. Come on.

"I can't do anything if you're there," he adds, turning to the other alligator resting on the drain. "Same with you."

He tries to move the gator's head with his in an effort to encourage him to move on, but he only opens his mouth to show a terrifying collection of sharp teeth.

"You big goofball," Gillette retorts. "Come on, Swampy!"

The video ends with Gillette lifting the beast off of the drainage pipe with only one hand.

Gillette told Newsweek that he's been working with alligators professionally for over 17 years.

"These are all rescue nuisance gators [featured in the video]," he explained. "We clean [their area] out every day."

Since posting the video on Sunday, it has amassed over 3 million views and nearly 630,000 likes as of publication. Gillette noted that though has posted similar content before, he had not anticipated this video going so viral.

"It's just a regular cleaning video, I post them all the time and have been cleaning exactly like that for many years, this one just happened to somehow take off," he said.

"It's pretty crazy. Especially when you look at my videos that I think are way more impressive, but for some reason this cleaning video took off that I almost wasn't even going to post because it's so basic and normal for me."

Viewers were amazed at how bravely Gillette handled the gators, noting that they themselves would never willingly enter a pit of alligators like him.

"This man is herding gators like they're sheep," one viewer joked. "Casually steps foot on an [ALLIGATOR]," another wrote, amazed that he braved the waters wearing open-toe shoes.

"He be playing with fire," one TikToker even added.

Others joked at how sleepy the gators on the drainage system seemed. "They are like 'not today man,'" one joked.

Several made jokes about Gillette's choice of footwear for his escapade, although he told Newsweek that footwear is of little concern when interacting with gators.

"Shoes make no difference if you get bit lol, gators don't pluck off an individual toe, they're going to death roll and snap off at your ankle or knee," he said. "Shoes won't matter."

One viewer even wrote, "If dinos were still around…this dude would probably be doing the same with with raptors or something." Gillette responded enthusiastically: "Absolutely sign me up."

Also in Florida, another alligator chose to make itself comfortable on a residential front porch. A TikTok depicting the event went viral last week, with many shocked that the massive creature has made its way to the poster's front door.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. to include Gillette's statements to Newsweek.

Alligator wrangler hops in pool unafraid
A man has gone viral for boldly jumping into an alligator pool in his flip flops to clean a massive group of gators. Chris Gillette/TikTok