Bair Facts: How alligator wrangler Frank Robb speaks croc, tests gator blood for medical uses

As a star of sorts, alligator wrangler Frank Robb has become known as Chicago’s Very Own gator wrangler.

But how did he catch Chance the Snapper? It turns out he speaks the language, a skill he has been mastering since he was a child and started catching alligators with his Uncle Bill.

To this day, he continues to study crocodilian vocalizations, the sounds gators make when they are in danger to call other gators. When Frank makes that sound, gators come running — or swimming.

Beyond catching alligators who find their way into the wrong waters, Frank also works with NASA scientists. He catches gators on NASA property, and then takes blood and tissue samples from them before letting them go.

But why? It turns out, gators do not get sick with bacteria, a drop of gator blood kills HIV on contact and gators rarely get cancer. When exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, their cells repair themselves, as opposed to humans where the DNA changes cause cancer.

So scientists around the world are studying how gators could actually aid in human health with medications to fight bacteria, as well as viruses like HIV and cancer.

To get the latest on all this and more, WGN’s Dina Bair and producer Katharin Czink sat down with Frank Robb in this latest episode of “The Bair Facts on Health.”

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