Alligators have clashed with nonnative pythons before in Everglades National Park. But when a 6-foot gator tangled with a 13-foot python recently, the result wasn’t pretty.
The snake apparently tried to swallow the gator whole _ and then exploded. Scientists stumbled upon the gory remains last week.
The species have battled with increasing frequency _ scientists have documented four encounters in the last three years.
The gators have had to share their territory with a python population that has swelled over the past 20 years after owners dropped off pythons they no longer wanted in the Everglades. The Asian snakes have thrived in the wet, hot climate.
"Encounters like that are almost never seen in the wild. … And we here are, it’s happened for the fourth time," Mazzotti said. In the other cases, the alligator won or the battle was an apparent draw.
"They were probably evenly matched in size," Mazzotti said of the latest battle. "If the python got a good grip on the alligator before the alligator got a good grip on him, he could win."
While the gator may have been injured before the battle began _ wounds were found on it that apparently were not caused by python bites _ Mazzotti believes it was alive when the battle began. And it may have clawed at the python’s stomach as the snake tried to digest it, leading to the blow up.
GET THE STORY.
(CHT to the reader who e-mailed.)
I can’t help but thinking that Toho Studios is going to be coming out with a Pynthona Vs. Gatora film sometime soon.