Burmese pythons are devouring the Everglades’s wildlife one species at a time, and not even the American alligator is safe.
In South Florida, invasive Burmese pythons have infested the territory of native American alligators, leading to some rather unprecedented encounters between the two.
Interactions like this are becoming increasingly common, as tens of thousands of Burmese pythons continue to breed in the Everglades. Nothing is off the menu for these colossal constrictors; they can easily ingest any animal that crosses their path, from deer to bobcats to alligators.
Often measuring in excess of 15 feet, the reptiles kill by constricting their prey and swallowing it whole, as you can see in the video above. This particular feeding frenzy took an astonishing 3 hours, and the unfortunate alligator appears to still be alive for a good part of it.
Burmese pythons are native to tropical Southeast Asia, but found their way into Florida through the pet trade. Owners that could no longer care for the growing snakes released them into nearby parks, and one reptile enthusiast even evidently released several individuals in hopes of establishing a population in the Everglades. To make matters worse, countless individuals have escaped enclosures during hurricanes, adding to the growing population. Experts believe that there are anywhere from 30,000 to 300,000 invasive pythons currently roaming the Everglades.