How Alligators Hunt Prey

Following the death of a 2-year-old from an alligator attack in Orlando, Florida, animal expert Jeff Corwin weighed in on the rarity of alligator attacks and how they typically attack their prey.

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“This is very untypical – this is a tragic, rare event. Thank gosh it’s a rare event. Alligators normally don’t prey on human beings, we’re not a part of the food chain for these animals,” Corwin told the FOX Business Network’s Ashley Webster.

Corwin then described how alligators prey on their victims.

“This was just a freak accident. They are ambush predators, primarily active during the nighttime hours. And as nocturnal creatures, they’ll sit near the shoreline, ambush their predator, typically take it into the water, where the prey item is often drowned before it is consumed.”

Corwin explained why reports that the boy drowned and that his body was left underwater are quite unusual.

“I believe that what may have happened is that this gator had its instinctive reaction to prey upon this small being and then was somehow startled and released the little boy who likely had drowned from the trauma of that situation.”

Corwin also weighed in on the challenges keeping alligators out of an area.

“It is nearly impossible to keep them away from lagoons, even a man-made lagoon. Now because of that they have full-time staff that are animal experts that are on the clock 24-7 keeping an eye out for creatures. Sometimes when they have an animal that may look like it may become problematic, that animal is removed, so this is a very unusual event.”