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An unhappy crocodile and a hungry alligator

Proper social distancing wasn't enough to satisfy one very large crocodile lounging at Nine Mile Pond in Everglades National Park the other day.

Check out this video, then continue reading for some background on my Close Encounter with the Very Large Reptilian Kind. (Full disclosure: I did not approach the animal and I was about 40 yards away.)

Before you say anything... Yes, you're right: The videographer should be fired!

But in my defense, consider that (a) I had zoomed in from the safety of a picnic table some 40 yards away (I stood on the top of the table to get a better shot) and (b) the croc scared the crap of me when it opened its mouth (which explains the shaky camera movement)!

The woman in the video shot photos from the front of her car in the parking lot -- in a parking spot directly in front of the croc. She was still about 70 or so feet from the animal, which was in the safe zone according to this sign:

It seems like it was her voice or presence directly across that agitated the croc and made him show off his toothy jaws. We were among a dozen or so tourists who came and went, taking photos from what I consider safe distances. A few picture-takers did so from inside their cars.

The crocodile proved to be a terrific photo model, but my reptilian encounters for the day were not over. About 40 minutes later I shot this video. along the entrance road to Mahogany Hammock, a few miles north of Nine Mile Pond.

Once again, you're right: Fire that incompetent videographer!

In my defense, I saw the alligator at the last minute as I drove by it. I made a U-turn and grabbed by iPhone. My instagram app was already open so I used that to shoot the video.

I think the sound of my car slowing down startled the gator. It was only when he raised his head to retreat that I noticed the creature in his jaws. I think it's a turtle.

A final, and perhaps most important, point: Always respect wildlife and never approach, feed or molest animals in the wild. Do enjoy watching them from a safe distance.



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