The night we spent studying alligators had to have been as fun as any journalistic assignment I've ever had. It was more interesting, even, than covering the New Hampshire primary (speaking of reptiles).
When you measure the bite force of a gator you have to be very diligent and careful, but there's no finessing the situation. It's a hands-on operation. The danger is that the gator will suddenly twist and lash out. We kept tape over the gator's mouth and towels over its eyes until the crucial moment. Usually the gators were sleepy (having blown out all their energy during their capture), but a few had their dander up, or whatever the gator equivalent of dander is. We treated them as nicely as we could and, when we were finished with the measurements, left them in a dark shed (eventually they went back in the lake). A few times someone would start to go into the shed, and we'd have to say: "Mind those gators on the floor."