LAKELAND, Fla. - If you like rooting for the underdog, this story might not be for you.
Try and try with all its might, the little snake was no match for a gluttonous gator that had it clenched within its jaws and there to capture the scaly struggle was husband and wife duo Jesse and Linda Waring, who own and operate BirdWalk Photography.
The couple was visiting Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland on Saturday when they heard a splash while walking down "alligator alley." Linda Waring said her husband pointed out what was happening and at first, she was worried she'd missed a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
"On the chance that the gator might make another move, we decided to stick around and wait to see if there would be any more action. Once he started moving and opening his mouth, I just focused and clicked," Linda Waring wrote in an email to News 6.
Her patience paid off.
The gator's gaping mouth opened once again and she could see its snack -- a red snake -- trying to slither to safety.
"The snake was giving it his all to escape from the jaws of the gator. The gator would chomp down and
close his mouth and each time it seemed like the end. Then when he opened his jaws, the snake was still trying to fight his way out," Linda Waring said.
The brawl, though valiant, was brief. Within 10 minutes, the snake was toast.
"In the end, the snake finally lost the battle when the jaws of the gator made a direct hit down the length of his body. It was a hard fought battle," Linda Waring said.
While Linda Waring has photographed a baby owl peeking out from its nest and an osprey flying off with a bonnethead shark it snatched straight from the water in Tampa Bay, Saturday's sight was a first of its kind for her and she said it proves that good things come to those who wait.
"... It takes patience and persistence and I recommend to keep trying for that amazing shot. The
fun is in the pursuit and just getting out in nature," she said. "You really never know what you’re going to get."
To see more of Linda and Jesse Waring's work, go to BirdWalkPhotography.com.
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