Man jumps into alligator enclosure at Busch Gardens in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. — A man visiting Busch Gardens in west-central Florida on Wednesday decided to get up close and personal with the alligators at the Tampa theme park.

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Not the smartest move, but fortunately for the visitor, he was not hurt and shocked onlookers were spared from viewing a tragic scene.

A video taken by a park visitor at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay showed the man, who has not been officially identified, scaling two fences to enter the alligator habitat, WTVT reported.

Nick Reid, one of the people who captured the incident on video, told WFLA-TV that the man, allegedly a social media influencer, had jumped into the enclosure to film a video.

“He caused a huge commotion and got within 5 feet of an alligator,” Reid told the television station.

“You’ve got to get back out,” a man in a green shirt told the enclosure intruder, who suddenly adopted a mock Steve Irwin accent, WTVT reported.

“I’m not the wild Karen. Crikey,” the intruder calls out.

Officials at Busch Gardens said its security and animal care teams responded immediately. None of the reptiles were injured. Neither was the intruder, according to the television station.

“We will not tolerate this blatant disregard of our safety rules and are working with law enforcement on this matter,” Busch Gardens said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our guests, ambassadors, and animals remains a top priority.”

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