58ºF

Hungry gator chomps on invasive python in Florida Everglades

Wild encounter caught on video

In this Monday, Oct. 28 2019, photo, an alligator prowls the waters of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.
In this Monday, Oct. 28 2019, photo, an alligator prowls the waters of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Watching one animal eat another can be a gruesome sight, but not so much when the prey is an invasive snake wreaking havoc on the Florida Everglades’ delicate ecosystem.

A video posted Sunday to the Everglades National Park’s Twitter shows a native American alligator, estimated to be between 6 and 8 feet long, with a Burmese python clenched in its powerful jaw.

A Shark Valley Tram Tours employee recorded the video in September near the Shark Valley Visitor Center.

Commenters were quick to chime in with their cheers for the home team.

[RELATED: Jaw-dropping photos show snake trying to slither out of gator’s mouth | This spider-eating frog corpse is the creepiest thing ever]

“Only way a python would ever get one of our boys is pure luck and they will both be going down,” one user wrote. “Meanwhile I’m sure gators eat them daily.”

It’s safe to say people aren’t just rooting for the gators in Gainesville.

“I love the fact that Florida’s native species is destroying the invasive species,” another woman wrote.

According to the United States Geological Survey, there are tens of thousands of Burmese pythons in the Everglades and researchers have seen declines in the number of raccoons, bobcats and opossums in areas where the snakes are most prevalent.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regularly hosts events that allow participants to venture into the Everglades to remove the invasive species in exchange for cash prizes. During the 2020 Python Bowl, 80 Burmese pythons were removed.

[MORE: Mystery creature: What the h*** did this Florida woman find in her yard?]

Burmese pythons can be humanely killed without a permit year round with the property owner’s permission.

For tips on how to identify the snakes, click here.


About the Author: