This spring, pythons and alligators have dominated the headlines of Field & Stream news stories, from an 18-foot invasive python removed in the Everglades to alligator mating season causing chaos across the Sunshine State. These kinds of stories struck a chord with many readers—for good reason. Who doesn’t like reading about giant reptiles?
Well, this video taken back in 2009 combines the best of both worlds—pythons and gators. And they’re fighting. The epic footage was captured by a wildlife photographer Heiko Kiera, who’s also known as “Ojatro.” Kiera recorded the inter-species battle at an undisclosed location near the Everglades. See it for yourself below.
“Top predators like the American crocodiles and American alligators prey regularly on all kinds of reptiles, including pythons,” writes Kiera in the video description. “An adult alligator will have little trouble to overpower, kill, and eat any juvenile and in some cases even an adult constrictor. Nevertheless, a fully grown Burmese python can reach over 20 feet in length—and become an extremely dangerous prey item.”
In this case, the battle becomes something of a stalemate—and neither reptile eats the other. But that’s not always the case. In 2022, a scientist removed a 5-foot alligator from the stomach of an 18-foot python.
Pythons are native to Asia. They were inadvertently introduced to the Everglades in the 1970s and have since proliferated, wreaking havoc on native species along the way. There are now tens of thousands of invasive pythons in the Everglades, according to The New York Times. On the other hand, alligators are native to the Sunshine State. There are approximately 1.3 million gators in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.