Watch This Gargantuan Python Battle a Caiman in an Epic Showdown

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 23, 2023

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Spectacled caiman
© Artush/

These guys made local news when a man passing by on a bike heard a commotion. His footage captured a python and caiman alligator in the fight of a lifetime. As the video plays out, it becomes obvious that the snake has wrapped itself around the alligator, intent on strangling it. As the video shows, the huge snake makes it quite clear that he is the dominant species in this territory. Unfortunately, the caiman probably became the python’s lunch!

Do Caimans Live in the US?

Yacare Caiman

These reptiles were imported into the area as ‘dwarf alligators’ and sold as pets.

©Ondrej Prosicky/

The caiman is a small to medium-sized member of the Crocodilia order and is found mainly in central and South America. However, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there is also an established population of the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) in southeastern Florida. They are an exotic species here and it is not their native habitat.

These reptiles were imported into the area as ‘dwarf alligators’ and sold as pets. Unsurprisingly, many people found that they did not make great pets and grew a lot larger than they were expecting. The unwanted animals were released and started breeding in the wild. However, their range is limited because many parts of Florida are simply too cold for them to tolerate.

Caimans are semi-aquatic so you will find them in freshwater and brackish habitats. They can be spotted in swamps, marshes, mangroves, and rivers. Black caimans can cope with stronger currents but spectacled caimans prefer still water. This is why they are also found in canals and reservoirs.

How Can Caimans Live in Water?

The caiman inhabits marshes and swamps to mangrove rivers and lakes.

©Robert Lawton / Creative Commons – License

The caiman’s body is well adapted for life in and near water. Most notably, they have a third transparent eyelid. This protects the delicate structures of the eye when they are in water without affecting their sight. Their ears and nose also have flaps to prevent water entering and they have a further flap structure at the back of their throat. It means that they can open their mouths underwater (to catch fish) without water flowing in and flooding their lungs.

Do Burmese Pythons Live in the US?

Burmese Python in the Everglades.


Python in the Florida Everglades.

©Heiko Kiera/

Burmese pythons are another non-native species of Florida. The first Burmese python found in the Everglades in 1979 was most likely a pet that was either released or managed to escape into the wild. Unfortunately, they have successfully established a breeding population in South Florida which has seriously impacted local native species of mammals, birds, and other reptiles.

Like all of the non-native reptile invasive species, Burmese pythons are not protected in Florida, with the exception of anti-cruelty law, and can be humanely killed on private property with landowner permission. What we may be witnessing here is a battle between two species over a pond that neither of them should be in. What do you think?

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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