Alligator drags dead gator by the tail.
Dawn Jarman

Video: Huge Alligator Cannibalizes Another Gator in Florida Lake

Lake Apopka is known for its large alligator population.

An alligator lurking in the water is an unsettling sight (unless you're in the middle of alligator hunting). But one dragging another gator—a dead one—by the tail takes it to a whole other level. We've seen them go after fish and wrestle dogs. Now, thanks to one lucky Floridian capturing the latest reptilian encounter on video, we get to see this startling, slightly cannibalistic spectacle.

Dawn Jarman captured the shocking video 15 miles northwest of Orlando at Lake Apopka and shared the footage on social media. Jarman and her friends were out celebrating her birthday along the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive when they spied the dead gator.

"My friends and I thought that it was just a dead gator sitting in the water. As soon as we stopped the car to look at it, it started moving, and we realize there was another gator holding onto the tail," Jarman told McClatchy News. "We were freaking out, of course, because it was a National Geographic moment."

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She said the dead gator was 9 or 10 feet long and gave off a "putrid" odor. Jarman believes that since the gator was still in one piece, "it was only dead for a couple of days at most." They watched until both alligators stopped in the middle of the lake. The group of friends then drove away from the grisly scene.

Lake Apopka is a well-known haven for alligators. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife surveys, the lake's gator population has grown from 627 in 1988 to 1,459 in 2012. Visitors can see as many as 20 at a time, ranging from small, 2-foot gators to larger beasts. Of course, the waters are not safe for swimmers and are clearly barely safe for other gators. Alligators are known for being cannibalistic, with larger alligators taking out smaller ones. Known as "opportunistic eaters," these creatures will prey upon anything available. Alligators may eat one another to protect their territory, stave off hunger, or conserve resources. Every now and then, young alligators will get eaten by larger gators in the pod.

READ MORE: Alligator Hunting: 524-Pound Gator Bagged by Group of Alabama Buddies