An unlikely chase scene played out last week in Florida’s Myakka River State Park as a manatee was filmed in hot pursuit of an alligator. Wildlife photographer Dennis Osha spoke with WTVT about the wild footage:
“I just took out my camera, my phone actually, and decided to get video of a gator that was walking, or swimming, right by the bridge, and it just happened that a manatee popped up right behind it. I think it was just curious.”
Both native species to Florida, alligators and manatees rarely bother each other but biologists have witnessed mother manatees protecting small calves from large alligators. Whether or not this manatee was displaying maternal instincts or merely curious is not known but it was a fascinating to see a normally docile aquatic mammal birddogging a predatory reptilian. Neat.