An alligator and a Burmese python were locked in a cold-blooded battle to the death as a crowd watched in shock at a golf course in Naples, Fla., last week.
Richard Nadler spotted the gator entwined with the large snake just outside the 10th hole at The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek. Both creatures were perfectly still, but it appeared the gator had the head of the snake in its mouth.
"The alligator seems to have the upper hand," Nadler commented after sharing pictures of the hair-raising scene on Facebook.
Carolyn Maxim, who also came across the sight, agreed with Nadler's prediction.
"It’s like a zoo here!!!!" Maxim posted on Facebook. "Looks like he got one of those big pythons."
A Burmese python, which can grow up to 26 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds, uses its crushing grip to squeeze large mammals, birds and reptiles to death. In Florida, the average size of a Burmese python is 8 to 10 feet, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
In comparison, female alligators in Florida typically measure below 10 feet in length, but males can grow much larger, the FWC reports. Gators are opportunistic feeders, hunting for prey that are easily accessible.
Wildlife officials said they can't draw a conclusion from photos alone – but if they had to pick a side, they'd be "team alligator."
"Which species is ultimately the prey or predator will vary from (sic) situation depending on a variety of factors including the overall size of each animal," Brian Norris, public information officer with the FWC, told Fox News. "However we are encouraged by the prospect of a native Florida alligator consuming an invasive Burmese python."
Burmese pythons are not native to Florida and pose a significant risk to native wildlife and the ecosystem, Norris explained.
"But both of these animals are large predators and the FWC recommends keeping a safe distance from either species," Norris advised.