A massive alligator took down a huge Burmese python and was recorded trying to swallow the snake in the Shark Valley region of Everglades National Park in Florida by Alison Joslyn, a wildlife photographer.
According to The Miami Herald, the alligator incident occurred on Dec. 20, when Joslyn spotted the alligator and snake while riding her bicycle. The wildlife photographer managed to record video footage of the alligator attempting to swallow the Burmese python.
Joslyn told Storyful, “What a thrill to come across an alligator eating a large invasive Burmese Python in Shark Valley as I was out riding my bike. As an amateur wildlife photographer, I knew immediately I was seeing something very special.”
Joslyn explained that she was initially “worried” because the alligator did not appear to be “chewing or moving.” However, she was relieved when she saw the alligator breathing and looking at her.
“I was thrilled. I’m aware of the havoc pythons have wreaked in the Everglades, and I know not much preys on them, if anything. Score one for the good guys, I was thinking.”
The Miami Herald reported that while the python was dead, the alligator either had trouble or was not in a hurry to swallow the snake, as the alligator still had the python in its jaws when Joslyn returned to the spot of the fight more than three hours later.
Joslyn’s videos and photos were uploaded to the “Alligators of Florida” Facebook Group on Dec. 20, quickly gaining thousands of views and hundreds of comments by members cheering for the alligator’s victory over the non-native python.
In her Facebook post, Joslyn wrote, “Came across this unusual sight today while cycling Shark Valley in the Everglades. That’s one less python to terrorize the Everglades. Gator was quite lethargic and I was wondering if it might be the cold, he was tired from fighting the snake, maybe got bit by the snake, started swallowing the snake and had to stop because it was too big? Other thoughts?”
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Burmese pythons are not protected in Florida because the snakes are considered an invasive species; as a result, Burmese pythons can be killed on private property with permission from a landowner. According to the FWC, Burmese pythons are one of the largest snake species, with some Burmese snakes in Florida averaging between 6 and 9 feet long.