Watch the video a reporter took of an invasive Burmese python having its way with an alligator. Florida is the new Australia.
When Joe Capozzi went for a bike ride in the Big Cyprus National Preserve, he couldn't have known that he would find himself as the only witness to a brawl between two unlikely reptile enemies.
Hearing a commotion in the nearby water, he stopped to see what it was. He still must have rubbed his eyes to be sure, as he says:
"Right there, just off the edge of Loop Road, no more than 15 feet away, an alligator was rising tail first and belly up over the surface of the water and then plunging back down. It was clear it was moving against its will. Then, as the gator rolled over and sank, something else came into view: the muscular coils of a very large snake."
Luckily, he had the wherewithal to get out his iPhone and take some amazing video:
Burmese pythons are not just like other invasive species in the Sunshine State. They have not only survived, but they've thrived and their population is rising. It's one thing to note all the different native species they kill and eat... but alligators?
Case in point in Capozzi's own words:
"The gator was visible only in brief glimpses as it rolled through the water against its will: Its pale belly, its clawed limbs, its thrashing tail. About six feet long, it was at the full mercy of the python, all 15 feet of the snake -- that's the size estimate one local would offer after watching the video."
The state of Florida encourages anyone who has seen a python to report it to the Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System, which helps officials track this wildly invasive species.