If you’re not familiar with the concept of “gender reveals” here’s a brief catch-up. Expectant parents gather their friends and family around and find some novel way to reveal the gender of their child. Party websites recommend things like putting blue confetti in a balloon and then popping it, to reveal it’s a boy.
We know what you’re thinking: “That sounds fun, but I wish it was a bit more… I don’t know… alligator-y.” Well kids, do we have good news for you.
A man in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, conducted a gender reveal for his grandchild. He gathered together the couple, all their family, a 10-foot alligator, and a watermelon; all the ingredients necessary for a memorable gender reveal.
In a video posted on Facebook, “T-Mike, the Gator King,” as he’s known, approaches the gator. He’s then passed a watermelon by a helpful party guest, who at normal parties would probably be handing out canapes rather than alligator food.
Confidently, as he has experience of handling gators on his gator farm, Mike Kliebert (his real name) opens the animal’s mouth and encourages it to take a bite of the melon. When it does, blue jello spills out of the melon, revealing – in the weirdest possible way – that the baby will be a boy.
The video, posted by grandmother Melody, has gone viral, with many people congratulating the couple for their boy, and others just finding the whole thing to be completely absurd.
However, the video has also caused a backlash, with many people calling it cruelty to the alligator, which looks confused as hell before having to be restrained.
They have been flooded with angry responses and concern for the alligator.
“Who the f*ck antagonizes an animal for entertainment?” one person commented on the post. “Y’all couldn’t cut a cake or take one of your guns and pop a balloon like normal people?”
“Animals are NOT props for your entertainment,” another wrote. “No wonder he snapped, he’s frightened.”
Kliebert, who has also taught his son how to handle the animals he keeps on his farm, has since defended the reveal, insisting nobody was in any danger as he’s a trained handler.
In an interview with Country Living, he said that the animal was not sedated (as some people had claimed) and that he had chosen a partially-blind, 61-year-old alligator named Sally because of how tame she is.
“We wanted to incorporate the alligators, who are like family, into this big moment in our lives,” Mike said. “I wouldn’t have had any other gator do the reveal, my grandpa hatched her in 1957.”
Nevertheless, we’d recommend that the public don’t use 10-foot alligators in any future gender reveals, baby showers, or bat mitzvahs. Perhaps stick to balloons.