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Massive Alligator Caught Carrying Smaller 'Love Rival' Across Lawn

Massive Alligator Caught Carrying Smaller 'Love Rival' Across Lawn

The 20-foot creature was caught on camera carrying its rival in Florida.

Florida residents were left in shock as they spotted a huge alligator making its way across some grass with a smaller gator trapped between its jaws.

Spotting an alligator is, worryingly, not all that unusual in Florida, but residents couldn't help but stop and stare when they came across the rarer sight of one gator seemingly kidnapping another in Lakeland, near Tampa, on March 8.

The bizarre scene was caught on camera by Julie Smith, who stood along with other onlookers as the 20-foot alligator made off with the six-foot reptile it apparently viewed as a rival.

Check out the footage below:

Julie shared the video on Facebook, along with the caption: 'So this happened this morning. This grandpappy is about 20ft long. The alligator he is eating is about 6ft.'

The baffled onlooker later clarified that the smaller alligator was alive when it was being carried, but before long it unfortunately met its demise.

She explained: 'Oh it was alive alright, but once he got over to the other body of water that was short-lived. That 6ft gator in his mouth is several years old. I have 8-10-12ft [alligators] in my lake all the time. In fact there is a pair about 10ft each in my lake right now, mating, but I’ve never saw one this big until today. Huge!!!'

Julie went on to explain that the footage was taken during mating season, throughout which alligators may feel 'threatened' by other males.

If this happens while in pursuit of a female, Julie said, the male alligators will 'go after another.'

20-foot alligator carries rival in its jaw (Storyful)
20-foot alligator carries rival in its jaw (Storyful)

She added: 'Also found out the males will kill their young too. All this knowledge I never wanted.'

Though the footage is undoubtedly alarming, Coleman M. Sheehy III, from the Division of Herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, told Newsweek that alligators eating one another is actually 'totally normal behaviour'.

Sheehy explained that large alligators are 'well known to eat smaller alligators', though the occurrence of this can vary depending on 'what other food options are available and partly due to whether large gators have access to smaller gators.'

'Smaller alligators generally avoid areas where large alligators live,' he continued. 'This may be because their ecological needs are different—different food and habitat—but also so they don't get eaten by the larger gators.'

Sheehy went on to confirm that male alligators do indeed get 'very territorial' during mating season, which can lead to aggression and cannibalism.

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Featured Image Credit: Julie Smith via Storyful

Topics: Animals, US News, Viral, Life