Woman's Birthday Trip Interrupted After Dead Alligator Starts Moving
She caught the “National Geographic moment” on camera.
There are an estimated 1.3 million alligators in Florida. Anyone who has ever driven through "Alligator Alley," a stretch of land across the southern tip of the state where thousands of gators sun themselves on the swampy banks of the Everglades, is well aware of this. However, it isn't every day that you spot a seemingly dead alligator moving, which is what happened to one woman celebrating her birthday.
Dawn Jarman was celebrating her birthday with a scenic drive around Lake Apopka in Florida when she saw a rotting alligator she thought was dead. However, it started moving. "I go on that drive every weekend, and you see different things every time you go, some more exciting than the others," Jarman told FOX 35 News. "But this was definitely a first."
She then realized that the nine to ten-foot alligator was in the mouth of a bigger gator, who was dragging it backward into the lake. So she pulled out her phone and started recording.
"I was with two friends, and we just happened to drive up at the right time. We were freaking out, of course, because it was a National Geographic moment," Jarman told McClatchy News.
"My friends and I thought that it was just a dead gator sitting in the water. As soon as we stopped the car to look at it, it started moving, and we realize there was another gator holding onto the tail, we were freaking out, to say the least. … There were quite a few excitable four-letter words," she said.
The rotting gator gave off a "putrid" odor but was still intact, "which tells me it probably was only dead for a couple of days at most," she added.
After the gator dragged the dead corpse into the lake, they drove off. The video was shared in the Birds and Wildlife in Florida Facebook group, where she was called "an alligator whisperer" for her rare footage.
"It's pale because the skin is starting to sluff off," Vincent Deem, a research scientist at FWC's alligator and crocodile program, said in a statement to FOX 35 News. "Other gators will scavenge on it, so a live gator tugging on it is not surprising."