4th of July: Patriotic alligators sing ‘God Bless the USA’

The 4th of July must be celebrated with a bit of patriotic music, right? But we can do better than the 1812 Overture or John Philip Sousa: Let’s watch alligators singing patriotic music!

This video comes to us from reptile expert and conservationist Jim Nesci. It features Nesci’s gators bellowing along to country artist Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”

We just had to call Nesci and ask: How did you train the alligators to do that?

Turns out, the gators just did it on their own. Here’s the back story to the video:


“I happened to be down in the basement one day and I had the radio on. I cranked up ‘God Bless the USA,’ just because I happen to like that song,” Nesci told the Los Angeles Times. “Some of the low-pitched sounds in the song stimulate the gators. And they just started bellowing.”

At first, Nesci wondered what the gators were fussing about. But then he realized: They were “singing” along to the song.

“It was something that happened off the cuff,” he said.

“I called a buddy of mine and said, ‘You gotta see this.’ So he came over and we put the video together.... It was eerie, here are these primitive beasts, and here they are singing ‘God Bless the USA.’ One take, that was it. It was meant to be.”

The video was shot at Nesci’s reptile-filled compound outside Chicago. He keeps bats, turtles, pythons, lizards, gators and more, all part of his national campaign to educate people about reptiles.

By the way, notice that gator on Nesci’s lap at the beginning of the video? That’s Bubba, and he has since grown to be more than 9 feet long and 225 pounds.

He’s tame as can be. Bubba follows Nesci around the house -- even walking up and down stairs -- and when Nesci drives around town with him, Bubba places his head on the armrest between the front seats.

No muzzle of any sort is needed. “I couldn’t make him bite me if I tried,” Nesci said.


Happy 4th of July, everyone! Drive safely.

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