LOS ANGELES - He might be brave on camera, but "Alligator Hunter" Steve Irwin was reportedly too scared to go after an alligator in Los Angeles' Machado Lake. According to Irwin's spokesman, Rep Tyler, "Hey, everything in LA is mean. Gangs, drivers, even the gators. Steve's basically an actor. He aint' got no death wish. Most of the animals you see him rasslin' on TV have either been sedated or been put in the deep freeze for a coupla hours. They can hardly move."
The alligator, reportedly dumped in Machado Lake several months ago by a former LA policeman had dined on punks, smaller gang-bangers, and dead bodies dumped in the lake by rival gang members. It had a "fierce" reputation. "You want to know what happened to Jimmy Hoffa? axed one gangsta? Dis crocodile he swallowed a punk in two bites. Dat's what happened to Hoffa-man.
With "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan not even answering the phone, and "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin begging off on the task, the job of wrangling the gator turned to former WWF professional rassler Jay Young, who put in 10 years wrestling gators at an "Alligator Farm" outside Orlando, entertaining tourists bored with Mickie and Minnie.
"He put up a good fight," said Young, who helped catch the alligator along with a crew of rednecks he brung from Tallahassee who'd volunteered for the mission."
The gator had become a local phenomenon that drew crowds of onlookers who tossed jelly doughnuts, tortillas and raw chicken into the lake. "I dunno, maybe they think he's a junk food gator" said young. These babies like meat. Human meat," said Young.
Young, 47, said his crew spotted the 180-pound reptile resting on land near the shore of Machado Lake in South Los Angeles. They took a smaller member of the Crips, bound him, and dragged him behind a ski boat to lure the gator into an ambush.
After subduing the alligator with a chicken laced with "very powerful drugs " Young called FEMA authorities in New Orleans to come and get the creature. The alligator will be used by Federal authorities to help minimize the body count in the wake of New Orleans. "Hey, no body, no foul, and no foul smell either," according to one FEMA spokesperson, speaking off the record.
Young unsuccessfully to catch the gator last month, attired in a Crocodile Dundee outfit: hat, alligator-tooth necklace and leather pants. He said the city paid him $1,600 for his costume, and nothing for actually catching the gator. "Hey, it's LA. They know about acting, and expenses. They don't know squat about gators."
The alligator was first spotted in 53-acre Machado Lake on Aug. 12. A former Los Angeles police officer was arrested for allegedly dumping it several months ago after it ate his pet Rottweiler."
The effort to find the gator - and keep people from being attacked - had cost the city $50,000 as of early September, said Ron Berkowitz, director of the Los Angeles Parks Department. That amount will be deducted from the former policeman's pension at a rate of $50 per month, forever.