ORLANDO, Fla. – Social media went abuzz earlier this month after a photographer shared images of an alligator eating another alligator at the Orlando Wetlands Park.
The images, courtesy of Barbara D’Angelo, show a bull alligator with its jaws around a much smaller alligator, which is hanging from its mouth.
According to D’Angelo, she was set to leave the park when she spotted the strange sight.
“I heard a splash behind me, and I turned around, and I saw that big gator swimming around (with something) in his mouth,” D’Angelo told News 6.
Alligator spotted eating another alligator at Orlando Wetland Parks on March 6 (Barbara D’Angelo)
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She said that she got out her camera and stood very still, capturing the scene.
“I watched him lift his head, and then he thrashes the gator’s body backwards,” D’Angelo said. “You watch him snap his neck in one picture.”
D’Angelo explained that the predating alligator continued to whip around the smaller alligator and crack his neck before going for the “kill shot.”
“He’s just tossing this gator around, and then it was done. Just as quick as that, he had that thing folded in thirds,” D’Angelo said. “If you look at the last shot is this gator’s head up to his jaw or whatever, still in his mouth, and the body is folded like an S, and it’s deflated.”
D’Angelo explained that the predating alligator continued to whip around the smaller alligator and crack his neck before going for the “kill shot.” (Barbara D’Angelo)Scene captured by photographer Barbara D’Angelo of an alligator snacking on another alligator in Orlando (Barbara D’Angelo)
According to Dr. Frank Mazzotti, a professor of wildlife ecology with the University of Florida, it’s not unusual for alligators to go after one another.
“Could be for food,” he told News 6. “Could be territorial. Adults chase subadults out of their territories, sometimes very aggressively and sometimes fatally.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns people to keep pets and children away from the water’s edge, as alligators can inhabit bodies of water throughout Florida.
For information on how to stay safe from gators, visit the FWC’s website here.
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