See Shocking Moment 8ft Cannibal Alligator Eats Smaller Gator: ‘Tenderized’

A wildlife photographer has captured the hair-raising moment a large bull alligator chomped down on a smaller gator in Orlando Wetlands Park.

Barbara D’Angelo was traveling home after visiting her dad on March 6 when she decided to take a detour through the Florida park to watch the sunset.

“The birds were settling in and it was getting dark,” D’Angelo told Newsweek. “I turned westerly to see the sunset and how I wanted to compose my photo when I heard a huge splash behind me.

“Turning around, I saw that large gator raising his head with something dark in his mouth.”

D’Angelo, who was standing only 10 feet away, reached for her camera.

“I just stood as still as I could, with hands shaking and heart pounding, and just started shooting,” she said. “I kept my focus on the large gator’s mouth and face, but also on his eyes. He always kept his eyes on me. I stood as still as a tree so he would not think I was a threat.”

For two long minutes, D’Angelo stood and snapped the action as it unfolded. “I watched through the lens as that gator raised his head and whipped and slammed his prey to first snap its neck and crush its bones,” she said.

“This gator knew what he was doing and knew how to do it. He had his prey crushed, tenderized and folded in thirds when he was done.”

D’Angelo estimated that the cannibal alligator was about 8 feet long, but said she never saw its tail. “I kept my eyes on his face,” she said.

The average size of an American alligator is 8.2 feet for a female and 11.2 feet for a male, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, but any gator over 4 feet can pose a threat.

Coleman M. Sheehy III, from the herpetology department at the Florida Museum of Natural History, has previously told Newsweek that alligator cannibalism is not all that unusual.

“Large alligators are well known to eat smaller alligators,” he said. “However, the​ occurrence of this can vary quite a bit, partly due to what other food options are available and partly due to whether large gators have access to smaller gators.”

Cannibal alligator kill shot
When the alligator was done, his prey was crushed and folded into thirds in his mouth.
Barbara D’Angelo/Facebook

It was only when D’Angelo got home and looked through the photos that she realized exactly what she had witnessed.

“I started shaking again when I got home and saw it all on a large screen,” she said. “During one splash, I couldn’t make out what was happening [at the time] because of the muddy splash. For a second I thought he was charging me. [But] at home I saw that that was the kill shot. The one where he snapped the smaller gator’s neck.”

D’Angelo shared some of the shots with the Orlando Wetlands Park Facebook group, prompting awe-struck reactions.

“What an amazing thing to witness,” posted one user.

“Awesome capture of nature at its best,” wrote another.

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