She’s seen gators in rivers, gators in driveways, gators in backyards and gators in the middle of the road.
But for alligator wrangler Christy Kroboth, this was a new one.
“This is the first time any of them have tried to steal the car,” she told InsideEdition.com Tuesday.
The strange tale began when Kroboth and her co-workers at the Gator Squad got called to remove one of the creatures that had been spotted in the street, she said. They lured it into a ditch, where Kroboth taped its mouth shut with her trademark pink tape and led it into the back of her SUV.
Because they were covered in mud, she and her crew stopped at her house to change before driving the seven-foot gator to a sanctuary. As she normally does, she put a towel over his eyes and taped it in place.
“That keeps them calm,” she said.
A couple of hours later, showered and in fresh clothes, Kroboth walked outside and discovered Buster, as she named him, had somehow torn off the tape that was restraining him, removed the towel, climbed over the seats and managed to get himself stuck between the dashboard and the steering wheel, with one arm poking out.
“I don’t blame him one bit,” she said, cracking herself up . “If I was kidnapped, taped up and stuck inside a car, I’d try to escape through the windshield, too.”
Besides peeing on her seats, Buster also cracked her windshield with his head.
The 30-year-old has been trapping renegade gators and releasing them into the wild for two years now.
She’s always been an animal lover.
“I blame my mother,” she said. “My mom was the type to pull the car over to help a turtle cross the road.”
She is drawn to alligators, she said, because they “have such a bad rep.”
Most see them as “people-eating monsters.”
But she says they’re a necessary part of the ecosystem because they like to eat poisonous snakes and rats.
Most gators caught by Kroboth are released back into nature. But for Buster and other troublesome specimens, she takes them to an alligator sanctuary about an hour from her business in Rosenberg.
Buster, she said, had been shot with a BB gun and needed to be in a safe, isolated place.
Gator Squad catches the reptiles for homeowner’s associations and private homeowners. Where she lives in south Texas is rife with the creatures. “Lakes, rivers, the Brazos — it’s all alligator territory, she said.
Gently, and with her bare hands, she managed to maneuver Buster’s head and arm from the dashboard without getting whacked by his enormous tail. All the while, he made a horrendous noise somewhere between monster-like hissing and an enormous guffaw.
“We were laughing,” she said. “I said ‘Mom, come out here! You have to video this!'''
She did. And to no one’s surprise, it has gone viral.