This project was in Lee County, Florida, where enormous alligators frequent.
Alligators live in wetlands and this is the vital habitat that holds the key to their continued long-term survival. Alligators depend on the wetlands, and in some ways the wetlands depend on them. As apex predators, they help control the population of rodents and other animals that might overtax the marshland vegetation.
Alligators eat fish, birds, turtles, snakes, mammals, and amphibians. Hatchlings are restricted to smaller prey items like invertebrates. Insects and larvae, snails, spiders, and worms make-up a big portion of a hatchling's diet. They will also eat small fish at any opportunity. As they grow, they gradually move onto larger fish, mollusks, frogs and small mammals like rats, and mice. Some adult alligators take a larger variety of prey ranging from a snake or turtle to a bird and moderate sized mammals like a raccoon or deer.
Once an alligator reaches adulthood, any animal living in the water or coming to the water to drink is potential prey. Adult alligators will eat razorbacks, deer, domestic animals including cattle and sheep, and are often known to kill and eat smaller alligators. In rare instances, large male alligators have been known to take down a Florida panther and an American Black Bear…, and even Surveyors. So, we are very careful.
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