Wild Horse Directly Challenges A Gigantic Gator In Florida

Written by Kirstin Opal
Updated: November 9, 2022
© Makarova Viktoria/Shutterstock.com
Share this post on:

Key Points:

  • The Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, outside Gainesville, Florida, is home to a herd of wild horses.
  • A group of hikers came upon the herd, all descendants of the horses transported to Florida from Spain, grazing the prairie grasses along the trail.
  • A large alligator threatened the herd, resulting in one horse attacking the gator – driving him away from the horses’ grazing spot. The women captured it all in an exciting video.

In many respects, Paynes Prairie is exceptional. Visitors to Florida have no other place to see bison and horses wandering freely. The prairie is a large savannah that resembles the Everglades and is an excellent location for camping, hiking, bicycling, and, in especially, animal viewing. 

The 21,000-acre Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is only accessible from its southern or northern ends and lacks any internal roadways. All of the horses in Paynes Prairie are descendants of those the Spanish transported to Florida. They graze in and around the trail’s flowers and grasses close to the observation deck at the end.

alligator looking at camera with mouth open
An alligator can kill an adult horse, especially if it takes the horse by surprise.

A wild horse and a huge alligator engaged in a stunning battle in front of a group of female tourists, including a woman by the name of Krystal Berry, at the Florida wildlife reserve. We at AZA would like to provide a trigger warning because the video contains some disturbing material.

3,356 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

The party observed a young horse and many wild horses feeding in the field next to the walkway. “The alligator walked beside them and paused,” Krystal Berry mentions. “The horse kicked the alligator, which made it waddle across the trail,” she continues. “Then, the horse started attacking again,” Berry states.

Berry was trekking through Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, south of Gainesville, with three other nurses who go by the moniker “A-Team.” Berry’s video depicts a black horse breaking away from its herd and trampling the alligator after deciding that it was too near for comfort. It doesn’t take long for the gator to strike back, leaving the A-Team in absolute shock. 

Both creatures didn’t appear to have sustained serious injuries despite the spectacular but brief combat. The fight allegedly took place next to an alligator-filled ditch, off the La Chua Trail, per a local newspaper. Although wild horses and bison occasionally graze along this trail, a state biologist told the news outlet that she was unaware of any other instances similar to this one. 

Alligators are predators, and the horses are aware of this. We enjoy speculating about the thoughts of other creatures, therefore we would suppose that, for whatever reason, the horse most likely thought the alligator was in a dangerous situation.

Someone on popular coverage of the dual commented “Horse: “See you later!! Alligator!!” Alligator: “Whoa hold your horses!!” We can’t help but laugh at the quick wit of some online viewers. The alligator ultimately crossed the trail and hid in the woods from the horses.

Do Horses Normally Attack Alligators?

Though horses are not considered predators, they can possess a natural aggression that they sometimes use to improve their place in a herd’s order. Hormones, genetics, stress, and fear can all act as stimuli that bring out a horse’s hostile side. This video demonstrates that any animal, even one as fearsome as an alligator, is at risk when near a horse that feels threatened.

Up Next…

Exciting animal action like this is caught on camera more often than you might think! Check out some more examples of fascinating video content below.


The Featured Image

Black Friesian horse runs and gallop in summer time.
Black Friesian horse runs and gallop in summer time.
© Makarova Viktoria/Shutterstock.com

Share this post on:
About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, her 14-year-old dog, or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.