Texans are known for being tough, but this video is something else! When an alligator casually crosses their path, a group of cyclists stand just a few feet away and snap photos. Is this smart or very, very stupid?
Because the alligator doesn’t seem to be interested in or bothered by the people, the best thing to do was probably stay right where they were. Taking steps toward or away from the alligator may have provoked it or made it feel threatened. Most wild animals are happy to leave people alone as long as they do not feel that they are in danger. In this case, standing still was probably the smart move.
Alligators can move quickly, up to 20 miles per hour. They are a bit gangly on land, however. The alligator in this video walks slowly across the gravel path. There is a river nearby. While the video doesn’t show where the alligator came from, he almost certainly got out of that river and decided to cross the path. Alligators spend much of their time in the water, where they are faster and more agile. They can live on land, however, and come out to sun themselves frequently.
If the area was known for gators, the people probably had some warning that they might encounter one. The person filming the video is on the other side of the alligator from the rest of the group. They were riding bikes and walking. One man has his bike between him and the gator, while a child’s push bike can be seen in the background. They were probably being vigilant enough to see the alligator start to come out of the water and stopped to let him cross.
Do Alligators Attack?
Alligators are apex predators in their environment. This means that no other species naturally hunts them for prey. They used to be hunted by humans for food and for their skin. Now, they are protected in many places and not hunted or removed unless they pose a threat to people living nearby. In those cases, officials try to relocate the alligator to a safe environment. Baby alligators are sometimes targeted by other animals as food but adults like this one don’t face many threats other than those that are manmade.
Alligators almost never attack people unless they feel threatened. They have keen senses of smell and hearing. Most avoid people, leaving an area before most people even know that they are there. This isn’t always the case, however, especially when their habitat is reduced. Some states where alligators are plentiful, including Florida and other parts of the American South, see plenty of alligators in pools, backyard ponds, and neighborhood streams.
Crocodiles, on the other hand, can get aggressive just because they want to be. They only live in the southernmost parts of Florida and would not be seen in Texas. They are very territorial and will attack anyone or anything that they feel encroaches on their space.
- Watch This Alligator Eat a Whole Turtle, Shell and All
- Watch a Shark Bite an Alligator In South Carolina
- Meet the Ancient Crocodile Twice the Size of a Car, and with 100 Razor Teeth
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/LagunaticPhoto
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