A recent video out of Florida shows an alligator preying on an unsuspecting snake in an unlikely place. The footage was posted to Facebook by homeowner Sean O’Malley on May 1 and shared in an article by Fox 35 Orlando on July 18. It captures the gator crawling through O'Malley's well-manicured lawn before it bum-rushes and locks its powerful jaws on a long black snake lying in the sun. See it for yourself below.
“Little gator vs big snake. Who did I root for?” O’Malley wrote in the post. Some commenters speculated that the snake was a black racer, a common native species in Florida. In the video, the alligator is seen thrashing the snake violently before employing a maneuver known as a “death roll” to finally subdue it. The incident happened in Nocatee, Florida, where O’Malley has lived for eight years. He told Fox 35 that he’s seen a lot of wildlife in the area but never something quite like this.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, American alligators are opportunistic feeders, with juvenile alligators primarily eating "insects, amphibians, small fish, and other invertebrates” while “adult alligators eat rough fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.” There are over 1.3 million alligators in Florida inhabiting every one of the state’s 67 counties.
O’Malley’s video has racked up 32,000 views so far. “The little Gator is so cute! His little death roll! Poor snake, but it is how nature is!” wrote one commenter. “Glad that is not my backyard!” said another. Alligators are known to eat snakes—like Burmese Pythons in the Everglades. Attacks on humans and pets, especially near lakes or rivers, are rare but do occur.
Alligators are considered a keystone species in Florida, engineering the environment and keeping the ecosystem in balance. Between 1967 and 1987, the species made a significant recovery from the brink of extinction thanks to the success of the Endangered Species Act. Now, Florida residents are likely to see gators in wetland environments pretty much anywhere…including their own backyards.