“And In This Corner…”

In between rain showers this afternoon I decided to head over to the marsh and see if anything was going on. As soon as I arrived I noticed these two alligators that clearly had issues with each other. I don’t know what set it off originally but they were involved in a major dispute over something, more then likely territory. As mating season approaches and emotions start to run high, arguments and disagreements are bound to happen. I watched these two go at it for close to half an hour before the whole thing just stopped. One floated off to lick his wounds and the other crawled up onto the bank at the edge of the pond right in front of me and went to sleep, he looked exhausted.

The other odd and interesting thing that occurred while all this was happening… as many as 12 other alligators came floating in and picked out spots in the water nearby as spectators to the battle. I have never seen behavior like this before and still wonder what was on their minds as they picked out front row seats to the event! 

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

Alligator Fight

91 thoughts on ““And In This Corner…”

  1. The pics and description is so very cool. I witnessed SImiliar action between two neighborhood cats once. Other cts came around and formed a circle several feet out. Not quite the same as you witnessed!

  2. How cool this must have been to witness. Lucky for both of them that neither one was hurt bad, but I think I see some broken teeth on the closest one. What power these guys have in their jaws so that must have really hurt. We just got a baby Gator at the store about 1 foot long and he bit me when I was putting plants in his enclosure. Although it didn’t really hurt, even one so small had such force that it was hard to pry his little jaws open.These are fantastic photos by the way!

    • Thanks Molly, I really appreciate you checking these out and glad you like them. What we could not believe was the crowd of spectators that arrived to watch the ‘show’. These guys were not fooling around that’s for sure.

  3. I haven’t seen something like that before… These are great photographs… But yes, scary too. As always you are amazing photographer, Thank you, love, nia

  4. Note to self: do not pick a fight with an alligator. Hope they both recovered quickly though.

    I have a bizarre image in my head of you wandering around to all the other gators offering them tickets and asking them to pay. Or perhaps not.

    • I try to avoid picking fights with these guys I figure it can’t do me a bit of good to get on their bad side.
      Sometimes I wonder who should be charging who at times like this. I probably would have paid an admission fee to attend this amazing event.

  5. Amazing. I detect a bit of blood in the water on the first photos. Your gators are certainly more active than ours. Our are seen much less often and do not seem to be a territorial. I’ve going to have to visit your swamp.

    These are great photos—just a fantastic series.


    • Thanks very much for looking and commenting Larry I greatly appreciate it!
      There was indeed blood in the water and on the alligator. The one crawled up onto land at the edge of the pond after the fight was over and we could see he was cut up a bit. Plus he looked exhausted.
      Wild scene for sure.

    • Yes I had the perfect front row seat for this one and amazingly for the most part there was not grass and branches in the way as often happens, nice clear view.
      Thanks much for looking!

  6. Man, those are great photos. I’ve never witness gators fighting like that, and I’ve seen plenty of gators over the years. Very cool. Must have been really something to have a ring side seat to that kind of action.

  7. These are frightening pictures, Phil! Just as I was beginning to think they were easygoing and laidback, you show me a completely different side to them! Brilliant and fascinating pics!

    • Well they usually are fairly laid back but…when it gets close to mating season and some of these guys start getting all ramped up we can get the occasional dust up.
      Glad you liked viewing these photos though. 🙂

  8. Wow, what a great series of shots, and, I bet, fantastic to witness. Would have love to been there and see it. I wonder if there were bets going on with the spectator alligators. 🙂 or some female wondering which is the real macho man. Thanks for posting these, they are great.

    • Thanks very much Diana, so glad you liked the alligator fight series! I do believe there were some side bets going on especially from the looks of that crowd. Just a bit shady 🙂

    • I could not believe that at least a dozen spectators floated over to watch the action, it was nuts!
      Yeah I do feel sorry for the poor beat up guy, he looked so tired and worn out there at the end and I bet was hurting quite a bit too.

  9. They want their heads banging together Phil. Fabulous shots. Must have been quite a spectacle. I remember seeing gators at a gator farm in Florida at feeding time. Pretty fearsome.

    • It was something to see for sure Adrian! These guys were not fooling around and I have seen minor arguments and brief territorial disputes before but not ones that lasted this long.

  10. Great Pictures Phil. It was the talk of the park yesterday! We had guests come in the store to tell us about the gator fight. I’m sure this won’t be the last one we see!

    • Thanks very much Beverly and yes it is beginning to look like this will be an active mating season and then summer with the big guys as they start competing for food and mates.

    • Yes these two were really going at it and I was very surprised by how long it went on for. Normally they get their disagreements sorted out fairly quickly but maybe these guys had some unresolved issues. 😯

  11. Great shots, Phil. That fight was the highlight of my trip to Huntington Beach SP. The power and aggressiveness of these reptiles never fails to impress. Growing up in Florida we always thought it was pretty cool to live in a place where the wildlife could eat you.

    • Thanks very much Lynn, I really appreciate you looking and commenting. That fight was something memorable that’s for sure. Amazing how these guys can go from zero to sixty very quickly even when they initially appear rather docile.

  12. I think I would be shaking in my boots with fear watching this fight. Those teeth can really do some damage.
    Great shots, and you are courageous to stick around to get photos.

    • It was amazing to see and it actually went on longer then that because it was already in full swing when I arrived. Yikes! Bet they had some aches and pains later.

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