As the video begins, the turtle can be seen wedged between the alligator’s teeth.
When the alligator bucks its head and snaps its jaws to slide the turtle back into its throat, the turtle makes a break for it. The turtle propels itself off the alligator’s tongue and onto the grass, then hops away at a very uncharacteristic speed.
This was not the first 2020 dustup between turtles and alligators. In May, a snapping turtle got into it with an alligator at The Swamp Park in North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer reported.
In that case, it was the turtle who picked the fight. It unwisely bit an 11-foot alligator in the park, which is an alligator sanctuary. The alligator responded by biting the snapping turtle back, then tossing it around like a rag doll.
“Likely the turtle was swimming in the pond and nipped at the gator. Didn’t end well,” officials at the park told McClatchy News. “The gators are still in their spring feisty state. You can hear the gator bellowing.”
Unlike the poor turtle who escaped the alligator’s jaws, snapping turtles can be quite dangerous. They can grow to as long as 20 inches and as heavy as 35 pounds. If you get too close to a snapping turtle, the Observer reported, they tend to raise their hindquarters, open their jaws and lunge suddenly at their targets, like a snake.
Their littler cousin may not move with snakelike speed, but it can hop faster than an alligator when it counts.