alligator charges kayak
YouTube/Peter Joyce

Charging Alligator Knocks Kayaker Into River in North Carolina

A kayaker on the Waccamaw River was summarily tossed into the water by an angry alligator.

When Peter Joyce tossed his kayak into the Waccamaw River near Lake Waccamaw, he couldn't have known that his weekend kayak ride was going to include one nasty North Carolina alligator.

WECT News spoke with Joyce after the incident, and he said, "I thought I heard a fish jump to my left—turned out not to be a fish. About three feet from the kayak I made out the head of the gator and that was it, I had no time to react."

What can be seen in the video is a raging splash followed by an angry alligator that wasn't having any trespassers in its territory.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

Maybe the worst part of it all was what happened next, and it was caught on his waterproof camera.

Joyce said, "My mind was playing catch-up at that point. Basically, when I made out the head of the gator towards the front end of the kayak it was kind of just a state of shock. As soon as it hit the kayak and I went what just happened?"

The experienced kayaker said that it's not the first encounter that he's ever had with an alligator, but it is certainly the first one that's ever charged him.

"Usually they make a splash or move and make a ruckus in the water. But this was a continuous charge from about 20 feet away. It definitely made me think a little bit differently what their capabilities are."

The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission says, "Mating takes place in May through June. After mating, the female alligator begins to build a mound-like nest of leaves, sticks, mud and other debris. The nest, built near water, measures 2-3 feet tall and up to 6 feet in diameter. After approximately 65 days, the young hatch and are about 9 inches long."

It's possible that this gator had one of those nests nearby and was acting territorially. Joyce says that he will definitely paddle again in the area, but maybe not in the spring or early summer.

Looking for a little more? Follow my webpage, or on Facebook and Twitter.