Florida – A deer’s narrow escape from an alligator’s jaws turned into a “real-life nature thriller” at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
The alligator, capable of swimming at speeds of up to 20 mph, was expected to catch its prey, but the white-tailed deer managed to evade its predator, leaving the alligator with an empty stomach.
The thrilling chase occurred near a boat ramp at the refuge, located about 55 miles north of Miami in Palm Beach County. The refuge, which spans 145,000 acres, is home to various species, including birds, bobcats, and deer.
A volunteer captured a photo of the deer swimming with its head above water, though the alligator was not visible in the image.
Surprisingly, swimming deer are not an uncommon sight at the refuge. During the dry season, deer wade through the muck, while in the wet season, they can swim for miles.
The deer in the photo was likely swimming for its life, as alligators have been known to prey on deer and smaller mammals.
A real-life nature thriller unfolded at Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida recently. A refuge volunteer witnessed a thrilling water chase between a white-tailed deer and an alligator. Spoiler Alert: The deer got away. pic.twitter.com/b9r35IlAzA
— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (@USFWS) May 3, 2023
Alligators inhabit several southern states, including those along the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Ocean. The reptiles, which can grow up to 14 feet long in Florida, prefer fresh water but can sometimes be found in brackish water.
Although humans can often coexist peacefully with Florida alligators, reptiles can sometimes become aggressive.
To minimize the risk of dangerous encounters, experts recommend not feeding alligators and keeping pets and children away from areas where the animals are known to live.