Caught on Camera: Gator versus python

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- A battle between an alligator and a python was caught on camera in Collier County, with the gator getting the best of the snake.

Classics Country Club at Lely Resorts posted a picture taken by Pat Aydellot on Facebook, showing an alligator with its jaws clamped around a large python at the edge of a pond. The caption said the photo was snapped at Fiddler's Creek, between Naples and Marco Island.

"It's been documented both ways - the alligator eating the python, the python eating the alligator," said Kathy Worley, director of science at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. "But how rare or common it is has yet to be scientifically determined."

Burmese pythons aren't native to Florida, and were first sighted in the Everglades in the 1980s. More than 2,000 have been removed from the Glades in the past 15 years, but that's thought to be only a fraction of how many are in south Florida.

"Pythons are here, and they're here to stay," Worley said. "They're breeding, and that's why we're doing research with several partners to find out their behavior so that we can better manage them."

Worley said it helps when the native alligators get the upper hand on the invasive snakes.

"Anything that removes one python from the equation - especially if it was a female, for example - is a good thing," Worley said. "Because females can lay a lot of eggs."

Worley said that the public can help by calling 1-888-IVE-GOT1 to report any python sightings.

Florida Fish & Wildlife told Fox 4 they had not responded to any nuisance gator or python calls at Fiddler's Creek recently. 

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