Busch Gardens Tampa Bay working with law enforcement after influencer jumps into alligator exhibit

“Another wild Karen, crikey,” Pursifull says while guests can be heard asking him to exit the exhibit.

click to enlarge Busch Gardens Tampa Bay working with law enforcement after influencer jumps into alligator exhibit
Screengrab via sneakyjupa/TikTok
A clout-chasing Louisiana man is now possibly in legal trouble, after he risked his life for internet points by jumping into an alligator exhibit at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

In a video posted on June 1 to his TikTok account,  "nano-influencer" Jacob Ryan Pursifull can be seen inside the park's American Alligator exhibit, which is separated from guests by two fences and features gators up to 15-feet long and 1,000 pounds.

“Another wild Karen, crikey,” Pursifull says while guests can be heard asking him to exit the exhibit. 
@sneakyjupa Youtube: Jupa6 #foryou #fyp #alligator #steveirwin #kidjumpsingatorexhibit #buschgardens #tampa #florida #crocodile #viral #trending #crazy #xyzbca #jupa #karen ♬ original sound - Jupa
A spokesperson for Busch Gardens told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that the incident occurred on Wednesday, May 31, and no one was injured.

"On May 31, a guest violated park policy with complete disregard for the safety of himself, our employees and our animals by jumping two fences and entering one of our animal habitats despite clear do not enter signage and multiple barriers indicating it was a restricted access area," said the park in a statement .

"Our security and animal care teams responded immediately. No injuries were sustained by the guest, our employees or our animals. We will not tolerate this blatant disregard of our safety rules and are working with law enforcement on this matter. The safety and well-being of our guests, ambassadors, and animals remains a top priority."

On June 3, Pursifull posted a much longer cut of the video, showing him before he jumps into the exhibit, as well as him standing within feet of the alligators.

Pursifull, who goes by "Jupa," has less than 1,000 followers across most of his various social media channels, and regularly posts "prank" videos, which often involve harassing strangers and getting kicked out of businesses.

Coincidently, the recent alligator video was filmed by local influencer Nick Reid, who told WFLA that Pursifull climbed over the barriers to shoot the video, and "caused a huge commotion and got within 5 feet of an alligator."

The station did not identify Pursifull as the man in the video, or note that he is a social media influencer. However, Reid and Pursifull both appear together in a different video uploaded to YouTube on the exact same day as the Busch Gardens incident.

In the video, titled "I Got Attacked!," Pursifull is seen wandering around Ybor City picking fights and asking people for blowjobs.

Speaking to CL, Reid denies that he was involved with the Busch Garden incident, but did state that Pursifull and him do have mutual friends. "He wen't wayyy crazy if you know what I mean and that's when I had to step back and choose not to involve myself," said Reid.

"I definitely think it's crazy and possibly viral content," added Reid, "but definitely don't condone illegal behavior."

CL was unable to reach Pursifull for comment.

This is not the first time the park has had issues with unruly guests. In 2016, an Orlando man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for throwing and killing a flamingo named "Pinky."

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Chava Communications.
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