Published on May 9, 2013

This guy is the only one I have seen who jumps in the water and fights with Giant Anacondas with his bare hands. His name is Ross Allen and he has to be one of the pioneers of this kind of thing. He started catching Alligators when he was just a kid. He started his own Reptile attraction at Silver Springs Florida way back in 1929. But you have the give him credit. There was very little info back then on how things or done, or very much safety back up. Allen made it up as he went along. Although he was bit by snakes more than 30 times, he never lost his love of reptiles until his death in 1981 by natural causes. Old School? You bet? But very cool never the less.


Ensil Ross Allen (1908–1981) was an American herpetologist and writer.[2] Born in Pennsylvania, Ross relocated to Florida with his family when he was a teenager. As a young man, Allen made a hobby of capturing turtles, snakes and other reptiles near his home in central Florida.

Allen began the Reptile Institute in Silver Springs, Florida in November 1929.[3][4] The center was once known for its reptile demonstrations, including alligator wrestling and rattlesnake milking, but is now recognized for its research on native Floridian reptiles.[5] Allen often procured the specimens for the Institute himself, often with the help of swimmer and Silver Springs celebrity Newton Perry. In 1935, a replica of an entire Seminole village was added to the park on Allen’s initiative.[6]

Because of his expertise in handling the animals, Allen was featured in numerous film shorts and newsreel clips. He also served as stuntman and reptile handler on several movies that were filmed in Silver Springs, including Tarzan Finds a Son and The Yearling He worked at Silver Springs for 46 years, leaving in 1975. He began work on a new attraction that was to be called Alligator Town, U.S.A. After his death in 1981, however, the project was abandoned.[8]


Henry Sapiecha

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *