June 29 (UPI) -- Experts said an alligator found this month crushed under a Georgia tree felled by Hurricane Matthew was "a pretty extreme example of bad luck."
The Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex posted a Facebook photo snapped by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintenance and fire crew members Jack Bently and Bert Wyatt when they ventured to Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge this month to clean up trees and other debris from the October 2016 hurricane.
The photo shows an alligator crushed under one of the fallen trees.
The Facebook post dubbed the gator's demise "a bit of bad luck," and experts have expressed agreement.
"This is a pretty extreme example of bad luck," Abby Lawson, an ecologist with the South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit at Clemson University, told National Geographic.
Lawson said the storm hit in October, when alligators are eating less and their metabolisms have slowed down. She said the season could have contributed to the gator's failure to escape the falling tree.
"The days are getting colder, and the nights are starting to get longer," said Lawson, a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Crocodile Specialist Group. "So the alligator was already in a tough position from the get-go."
Joel Vos, who coordinates environmental education for the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, said there were so many trees knocked over by the storm that the alligator would have had difficulty dodging them all.
"It was just trees on top of trees on top of trees," Vos said.