Alligator Wrestler statue.

Alligator Wrestler Statue

Field review by the editors.

Orlando, Florida

According to local lore, a cowboy (or possibly a meat market manager) named Bunk Baxter (or possibly Bud Yates) would come to Orlando on Saturdays in the mid-1880s and wrestle an alligator in the middle of Orange Avenue, which at the time was a dirt street.

Alligator Wrestler statue.
No rope here.

This fascinating factoid might have been forgotten had a photo not been taken of Bunk or Bud, sitting atop a gator in the middle of the street, surrounded by a crowd of men at a safe distance, one holding the rope that tied the gator's mouth shut.

Although perhaps difficult to believe, the odd photo eventually became the iconic image of Orlando's colorful early history, and in the early 2000s a life-size bronze statue of the man and gator -- minus the rope -- was sculpted by Scott Shaffer and placed in the city's Heritage Square.

Now everyone can get as close to the gator as they want.

Alligator Wrestler Statue

65 E. Central Blvd, Orlando, FL
In Heritage Square, directly in front of the Orange County Regional History Center, and just west of the intersection of Wall St. and N. Magnolia Ave. Low to the ground, so you have to look for it.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
Cadwell Park Animal Trees, Umatilla, FL - 32 mi.

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October 31, 2020

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