Three Clutches of Newly Hatched Gators

Since we have had the story in the news this week, of the 780lb 15′ alligator, shot at the edges of Lake Okeechobee. I thought I would share some photos of a couple of 15 inch, newly hatched gators shot (photographed) from the estuaries of Merritt Island. Kathy and I were out shooting on Black Point Drive, when Kathy noticed something quite odd. She told me to stop the truck and take a look at several alligators in the branches of the mangroves. We had found three separate clutches of alligators, hatched at different times all hanging out together. This was also the first time in 20 years that I saw gators in branches, instead of in the water, or in the grass. The first thing you do when approaching a young clutch, is to look for Mama. The Mother is always close by keeping an eye on her youngsters. The second thing you do, is listen for the croaks of the babies calling for Mom. If they perceive they are in danger they will start hollering for help ASAP! So approaching slowly, bending down so you don’t appear too big, and keeping quite seems to do the job. There were probably 15 gators swimming about and soaking up the sun in an 8 foot area. I was able to set up right next to them to get these shots, and they didn’t seem to care, and didn’t call for Mom.

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