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Pasco Tribune

Gator wrestler happy to be reunited with creature that bit him

News Channel 8
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 12:55 AM

Jeff Quattrocchi gave his 8-foot alligator a big kiss this morning. It's the same gator that took a big bite out of his arm during a performance Sunday in New Port Richey.

"I'm glad he's OK," Quattrocchi said, happy to have his feisty alligator back.

This time, though, the 220-pound gator's mouth was secured and his eyes were covered. Still, the wild alligator hissed and thrashed as he was pulled from a secured cage to be returned to Quattrocchi.

Quattrocchi, who goes by the name the Swampmaster during his gator show, also got his 3-foot pet gator Wally back, too.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission kept the gators for several days, until Quattrocchi was able to take care of them again.

Quattrocchi was performing his alligator wrestling show at the Cotee River Seafood Festival when he was bitten. He said it was the 13th time he had been bitten by a gator while performing over the past 17 years.

Volunteers from New Port Richey came to Sims Park to help break down the Swampmaster's stage, which has been up since the biting incident.

Quattrocchi, 45, of Kissimmee, was released from Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg on Tuesday with 36 staples holding together two ragged gouges in his arm and 23 stitches closing other wounds.

Quattrocchi blames himself for the bite. He says he mistimed his jump and landed in the gator's mouth.

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