Ralph Arwood Photography

Gator Nest

Thursday, August 18, 2016 6:31 AM

Over the last several summers I have tried to document the hatching of an Alligator nest. So far I have not gotten the video I'm looking for.

In June, Jonathan Nash told me about four gator nest along Washout Road in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Getting cameras close enough to the nest has been a challenge. 

All of the mothers are guarding the nests with great dedication. Every-time I check the cameras, I've been confronted by them. At times they have even challenged vehicles on the road.

This week I was surprised to find one of the nest had been dug up. At first it was not clear if the eggs had hatched or not, but the video told the story.

The nest had been raided by a young male bear. Mom must have been away from the nest. She certainly is big enough to have run the bear off.

The videos of the other nests showed that he had tried to raid another nest, but mom ran him off before he could do any damage.

(The time stamp is wrong. Momma did not let me stay there long enough to check and reset it!)

The jaw popping showes how stressed the bear was. If you ever have a bear popping his jaw at you, it's time to get away from him!

Hopefully we will get some good video of the other nest hatching.