The back-to-school season means parents across Texas are spending their mornings getting their kids ready for the day and escorting them to campus.
Missouri City man Mike Trinh was prepared to do just that on Tuesday morning, as his daughter was about to start her first day of middle school.
There was just one thing standing in his way: an alligator.
Trinh told KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston, that his daughter first spotted the animal outside their door.
“I’m thinking she’s joking, not wanting to go to school,” he told KPRC. “I say, ‘Just stop! We’re going to school today. Just stop.’”
“Walked out front, (and said) ‘Holy...yeah, that’s a gator!’” Trinh said.
He said rescue agencies and authorities were not available to remove the animal at the time.
Knowing that his daughter’s first day of school was the priority, his shock led to inspiration: what would Steve Irwin do?
He used to watch the beloved wildlife expert on television and knew he had to cover the alligator’s face with a towel, he said.
“That’ll calm it down,” he said. He eventually covered the animal’s face and took his daughter to school.
When he returned, the animal was still there. This time, his 19-year-old daughter helped him tape the animal’s mouth shut with duct tape and Jiu Jitsu tape.
“I said, ‘Hey, honey get the tape, and tape it up,’” Trinh said. “I was holding his mouth securely so it wouldn’t bite my daughter.”
They loaded the animal into the back of his truck and drove it to a nearby pond. They then removed the tape and set it free, he said.
“Once we removed the tape, it didn’t do anything, it hissed,” he said. “I crossed it off the list. I’m going to wrestle an alligator today.”