Florida Photographer Takes the Perfect Shot of a Heron Flying Away With a Baby Alligator in Mouth

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

A wildlife photographer in Florida got a once-in-a-lifetime shot recently while visiting the Orlando Wetlands Park. Ted Roberts caught a stunning picture of a massive Great Blue Heron flying away with a tiny baby alligator in its mouth. In the background of the picture, underneath the bird’s flight path, we see a huge mama alligator charging after the bird.

The photograph is truly something special.

“While waiting between tours we heard a commotion and saw a Great Blue Heron jump out onto the road with a baby Alligator in its mouth followed closely by the angry mother Alligator futilely giving chase,” Ted Roberts wrote in his caption to the post.

You can see the insane photo by clicking here. It certainly looks like something straight out of a cartoon.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, baby alligators can be eaten by a variety of predators including wading birds, raccoons, otters and fish. 

In 2017, another photographer captured a video of a heron snacking on a baby gator. This happened while visiting the Viera Wetlands near Melbourne.

In this gruesome video, a heron chomps down on a baby gator, which looks stiff in its beak. It slowly starts to gobble down the infant, tilting its head back and working the reptile down its throat. The heron splashes its beak into some water to send the rest of the gator down.

You can watch this viral footage below.

Heron Downs a Baby Alligator With Ease in This Video

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute posted the video to Facebook, writing about the incident in their caption.

“Photographer Scott Martin visited the Viera Wetlands near Melbourne, Fla. and observed an encounter between a great blue heron and a small American alligator” they wrote.

They also included a quote from Scott Martin. “The great blue heron ‘played’ with the little gator for at least twenty minutes before killing and swallowing it,” he said.

The caption continues: “Great blue herons eat nearly anything within striking distance, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects and other birds. 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.”

Great blue herons are commonly found near the shores of open water and in wetlands. They can be found throughout most of North America and Central America.

These birds also live in the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. Rarely will it make its way to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe.

Additionally, an all-white population found is located in south Florida and the Florida Keys. These are known as the great white heron. However, fierce debate persists about whether this bird owns a white color morph of the great blue heron, or if the bird subspecies of it. Some also contend that the great white heron remains an entirely separate species.