Alligators are known for employing a powerful maneuver called the “death roll” when dispatching prey. But, apparently, the large reptiles are proficient body slammers as well. In a recent video posted to YouTube by an account called Florida Swamp Barbie, a giant gator can be seen holding a fellow member of its species in its jaws. Then, a few seconds later, the big reptile displays its shocking strength by repeatedly slamming the smaller gator against the nearby shore. See it for yourself below.
Tammy Shaw posted a different angle of what appears to be the same incident in a Facebook post. She was out paddle boarding when she captured the footage. “My [inflatable] paddleboard is 11 feet, and he was close to that [in size] if not longer. The gator he was eating would have been 5 to 7 feet,” Shaw told the Miami Herald. “The video cut short because I felt a little too close for comfort after he slammed [the small gator] down.”
According to the Miami Herald, the gator-on-gator conflict occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at Florida’s Silver Springs State Park. The Herald speculates that the larger gator was whipping its prey against land in order to rip the meal into smaller, more bite-sized pieces. Cannibalism is not an uncommon behavioral trait in American alligators. A 1993 study conducted by the Louisiana State Agricultural Center found that tactic is employed by large, mature gators, smaller juveniles, and even hatchlings.
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Florida is home to an estimated 1.3 million alligators. The state’s 3.5-month alligator hunting season kicked off on Monday, August 15. For the first time in decades, hunters will be allowed to pursue gators for 24 hours a day during the season.