Powerful Python Completely Dominates Alligator in an Underwater Siege

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Written by A-Z Animals Staff

Published: May 19, 2024

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Python in Florida
© Mark Kostich from Getty Images Signature and omersukrugoksu from Getty Images Signature/ via Canva.com

Burmese pythons rank among the world’s largest and most formidable snakes. They are an invasive species in Florida, spreading over thousands of kilometers. These powerful reptiles are ambush predators, striking their prey with remarkable speed when it comes within range.

A recent video has taken the internet by storm, showcasing a rare battle between a Burmese python and an alligator. In a dramatic 15-minute struggle, the python emerges victorious, overpowering the alligator. Such encounters between these two iconic Floridian species are rarely witnessed, making this footage particularly fascinating.

Unexpected Discovery in the Everglades

Reporter Joe Capozzi was cycling through Big Cypress, a swamp trail in the Everglades, when he heard a loud splash. Curious, he stopped to investigate and saw an alligator’s tail thrashing in the water, entangled with a large python. Capozzi captured the entire struggle on video, offering a unique glimpse into the brutal interaction.

Alligators are often seen as top predators, but this video may change that perception. The footage shows the alligator being dragged underwater by the python, which uses its backward-curved teeth to secure a grip that’s nearly impossible to escape. The python’s body, patterned like a giraffe, wraps tightly around the alligator, squeezing until it ceases to move.

How Did Pythons Invade Florida?

Originally from southern and southeastern Asia, Burmese pythons have become an invasive species in Florida. They were first spotted in the Everglades in 1979, likely released by pet owners or escaping during hurricanes. Their population has since exploded into the hundreds of thousands, causing significant ecological damage by preying on native species such as foxes, bobcats, raccoons, and rabbits. These snakes have even been known to prey on alligators.

Burmese pythons are not picky eaters. They consume a variety of animals, including rodents, possums, birds, monkeys, wallabies, pigs, turtles, fish, and even porcupines. Larger prey, such as leopards and antelopes, are not off the menu. This broad diet contributes to their impact on Florida’s ecosystem. The impact of these invasive snakes has led to initiatives like the “Python Challenge,” organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to control their population and protect the native ecosystem.

A-Z Animals’s Take: Safety Tips for Encountering Dangerous Wildlife in Florida

Safety TipsSafety Tips

Remember, you’re in their habitat too!

©Nosyrevy and David Arment from Getty Images/ via Canva.com

Florida’s diverse wildlife includes potentially dangerous species like alligators and pythons. Here’s what residents and tourists should do if they encounter these creatures:

  1. Alligators and Crocodiles:
    • Maintain a safe distance of at least 60 feet and never approach or feed them.
    • Be cautious near water, especially during dusk and dawn when alligators and crocodiles are most active.
    • If you find yourself too close, back away slowly and avoid sudden movements.
  2. Pythons:
    • Do not attempt to handle or capture the snake yourself. Contact local wildlife authorities immediately.
    • Keep your distance and ensure pets and children stay away from the area.
    • Be vigilant in tall grass or brush where pythons might be hiding.
  3. General Wildlife Safety:
    • Stay aware of your surroundings, particularly in natural areas known for wildlife activity.
    • Respect wildlife by observing from a distance and not disturbing their natural behavior.
    • Carry a whistle or air horn to scare off aggressive animals if necessary.

By following these tips, you can safely enjoy Florida’s rich wildlife and natural beauty without risking harm to yourself or the animals.

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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