Alligator eaten by great blue heron in Florida wetlands

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 17, 2017 at 9:05 AM
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Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A man visiting Florida wetlands captured unusual video of a great blue heron making a meal out of one of the state's most feared predators: an alligator.

Photographer Scott Martin, whose video was posted to Facebook by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, shows the heron gobbling up the baby alligator after selecting the reptile for its next meal in the Viera Wetlands, near Melbourne.

"The great blue heron 'played' with the little gator for at least twenty minutes before killing and swallowing it," Scott said.

The Facebook post said that while it might be unusual to see an alligator being eaten by another animal, it is not uncommon for herons to eat whatever food presents itself.

"Great blue herons eat nearly anything within striking distance, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects and other birds," the FWC said. "This large, wading bird is a familiar sight to most Floridians. It's a permanent resident of wetlands throughout the state, often seen along ponds, lakes and canals in housing developments."

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