A tourist in South Carolina recently captured a video that showed a shark circling and then biting an alligator’s foot.
The incident happened near a dock on Hilton Head Island, Fox News reported. Cory Conlon, who was “surprised” to see the unusual interaction between the two predators, decided to take a video of the event so that he could later show it to his friends and family.
According to some experts, alligators have been known to prey on sharks. However, shark-alligator conflict is rarely witnessed. Adam Rosenblatt, an ecologist at the University of North Florida who studies alligators, told National Geographic that there are a couple of reasons for this.
First and foremost, both creatures are already difficult to observe, he said. Secondly, alligators tend to prey on smaller sharks which, to the average observer, look like other fish.
Though the Hilton Head alligator wasn’t the main aggressor, the interaction is still an exciting capture.
At the beginning of the video, the alligator is seen floating peacefully in the water. About 15 seconds in, however, a shark can be seen circling the gator from underneath the water’s surface.
The shark disappears from sight for a few seconds, so onlookers begin to throw food at the gator. Suddenly, the shark emerges and bites one of the gator’s feet. The alligator jumps in response, but the “fight” ends there.
The shark continues to swim while the alligator continues to sunbathe.
South Carolina is home to an estimated 100,000 alligators, said The Post and Courier. They are federally protected, which means that it is illegal for anyone other than official license holders to kill or trap a gator.
According to Justia Law, it is also illegal to feed or “entice with food” any alligator in the state of South Carolina. This is because alligators overcome their natural fear of humans when fed, which can lead to attacks.
Last month, a woman was attacked by an alligator on Hilton Head Island while walking her dog. Newsweek said that her neighbors intervened, and ultimately prevented the gator from dragging the victim into a nearby body of water.
She was taken to a hospital where she was treated for wounds to her legs.
Last year, it was also reported that a South Carolina woman was killed by an alligator that dragged her underwater during a death roll. Officials reported that there was no evidence to suggest the creature had been previously fed by humans.
Leave a Reply