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Posted by W von Papinešu on April 22, 2003 at 20:13:26:
TAMPA TRIBUNE (Florida) 22 April 03 Man Insists He Used Own Method On Reptile (Bill Heery)
Winter Haven: Crikey, mate!
``Crocodile Hunter'' Steve Erwin makes it look so easy on television.
But state wildlife officials say a Winter Haven man found what Erwin does is not so simple when he tried to subdue a 7-foot alligator using techniques he saw on Erwin's television show.
Michael Elinor, 33, is back home nursing injuries from his Saturday evening encounter with an alligator, but he tells a different tale than state wildlife officials.
The official version is that Elinor was so concerned about an alligator that wandered onto a road that he threw a blanket over its head and tried to sit on its back in a ``rescue'' attempt. But the reptile twisted around and grabbed Elinor's left arm, peeling away the flesh between the elbow and wrist.
Gary Morse, a spokesman for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Elinor told the agency's investigator, Lt. Jackie Meggison, he was using techniques he saw on ``Crocodile Hunter.''
Elinor denies it, saying he has only seen Erwin's show a couple of times.
``I was so doped up on medication I don't remember what I said [to wildlife investigators] that night,'' Elinor said Monday.
He said he was trying to prevent the alligator from getting to some horses.
Erwin, the 41-year-old ``Crocodile Hunter,'' couldn't be reached Monday for comment. On a Web site, Erwin says he has never suffered a serious animal bite.