Georgia biologists stunned to see alligator smiling back as they checked a tortoise hole

Georgia biologists stunned to see alligator smiling back as they checked a tortoise hole

Georgia DNR biologists got quite the surprise while checking a gopher tortoise hole in Tattnall County.

When one biologist got down on their belly to check the hole, they saw an alligator smiling back, according to a Facebook post.

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It is the third winter biologists have found a gator in a gopher tortoise hole in Tattnall County. The DNR says biologists found a gator in the gopher tortoise hole the last two years and at one nearby in 2021.

The biologists believe the alligator remembers where to find the hole since it could not be following a scent trail from the previous year.

Biologists believe the gator backs into the hole since turning around in a tortoise tunnel could be difficult.

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The DNR says alligators have been found in burrows at least twice before in Georgia but neither involved a burrow used for several years in a row.

Biologists plan to keep an eye on the burrow to fully understand what is going on with the hole and the alligator.

There are approximately 200,000 to 250,000 alligators in Georgia, according to the DNR.

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Alligators typically live south of the fall line which roughly traverses the cities of Columbus, Macon and Augusta.

Any alligators found above the fall line were likely relocated there by humans.

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