Photographer Captures Cannibal Alligator Eating Another Gator
A wildlife photographer in Florida captured the shocking scene of an eight-foot cannibal alligator eating a smaller gator.
Barbara D’Angelo tells PetaPixel that she has photographed alligators eating animals before, but they were fish and ducks. The pictures she took at the Orlando Wetlands Park on March 6 were something else entirely.
“My reaction was excited when it happened,” she says. “But I have to admit my hands started shaking as I flipped through my photos on a bigger screen.”
D’Angelo tells Newsweek that she only 10 feet away from the violent scene and her heart was pounding while the action took place.
“I kept my focus on the large gator’s mouth and face, but also on his eyes. He always kept his eyes on me. I stood as still as a tree so he would not think I was a threat.”
D’Angelo shot 35 photos of the estimated eight-foot alligator that destroyed its prey in two minutes of savagery.
“Some are blurry and some are muddy,” she explains on Facebook. “But I watched as this gator had his prey in his mouth and slammed the remaining body and tail like a whip.”
Retired D’Angelo who regularly shoots nature and the outdoors, captured the photos on a Nikon Z7 II with a Nikon 200-500mm lens attached.
“I’ve been a hobbyist of wildlife photography and have many pictures of gators eating ducks and fish,” she tells PetaPixel. “I know not to approach an alligator but when I feel safe, I also know to start shooting.”
The reaction to D’Angelo’s photos has been mighty, she describes it as one of her best.
“I’m on several websites and have been showing them. Everyone loves them, especially men but women too.”
According to Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the average length of a female American alligator is 8.2 feet, for males, it is 11.2 feet.
Alligator cannibalism is not that uncommon, according to Coleman M. Sheehy III from the herpetology department at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
“Large alligators are well known to eat smaller alligators,” he tells Newsweek. “However, the occurrence of this can vary quite a bit, partly due to what other food options are available and partly due to whether large gators have access to smaller gators.”
Image credits: All photos by Barbara D’Angelo.