Crane Refuses to Back Down from Alligator

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: February 24, 2024

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© RodneyWayneLodge/iStock via Getty Images

When we imagine a fierce animal in the wild, it is easy to think of alligators, crocodiles, bears, wolves, and pythons. They prey on a variety of animals that are skittish and will run at all costs to get away scot-free. However, every now and then, a prey stands up in the face of danger and shows that they are not afraid. Let’s watch this sandhill crane stand up for himself in the video above. 

Hungry Gator Chases After Crane

The video clip shown at the top takes us down by a lake where an alligator comes out to try and snatch a crane. The Gancet World YouTube page shared this video with their 214,000+ subscribers. This channel shares various footage of wildlife such as pythons, birds, cheetahs, and wild boar. 

Bold Crane Stands Up To Alligator

At the beginning of the video, we see that a sandhill crane has perched himself near this suburban neighborhood’s pond. And in that pond is an alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that has sensed prey in his territory.  

A study completed on the predation and scavenging by the American alligator on cranes such as whooping cranes (Grus americana) and sandhill cranes (A. canadensis) shares that further research needs to be completed. However, they point out that alligators are opportunistic carnivores that will leap at any opportunity to eat what comes by. 

The alligator slowly moves out of the water, trying to be as stealthy as possible. But this crane is not about to let this alligator have his way. The sandhill crane raises its wings in a display of defense to let this predator know that he is larger than he appears. The crane doesn’t take off but rather stands his ground. 

Are Sandhill Cranes Aggressive?

Sandhill Cranes gathering near the Platte River in central Nebraska during spring migration.

Sandhill cranes can live over 20 years in the wild.

©Benjamin Tillotson/

Sandhill cranes can be found living throughout Central America, North America, and Eurasia. They are large cranes that can stand at four feet tall and have a wingspan of 6.5 feet long! Don’t allow their slender and gorgeous appearance of red, fawn, grey, and brown feathers to fool you. These birds can be aggressive when they want to be. 

According to the FWC, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “These “habituated” cranes may approach people closely and even grab food out of a person’s hand. In rare instances, cranes have been reported pecking people.” 

If you live in states like Florida or Mississippi, then you know that these cranes are very common birds that are seen. They are well-known for their ability not to care about cars driving by. Many times, they will hold up traffic as they slowly cross the road. They don’t even care if people honk their horns. So, it is no wonder this sandhill crane didn’t even fear this alligator in the video at the top. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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