Watch: Alligator turns into smoke-billowing dragon after chomping down on drone

Sep 3, 2021

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Watch: Alligator turns into smoke-billowing dragon after chomping down on drone

Sep 3, 2021

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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An almost unbelievable video showing a Florida alligator ingesting a drone has gone viral this week. The TikTok video shows a small drone (the DJI Spark) hovering extremely close to the alligator’s mouth. The alligator, quick as lightning, snaps up the drone and holds it in its jaws. Smoke starts billowing out of the alligator’s mouth, appearing to be on fire.

The TikTok user @devhlanger posted the video clip online earlier this week while on a tour of the Everglades and is captioned “Trying to get a close up of this alligator in the Everglades… Wait till he chews through the drone’s battery.” He then explains “we were trying to get a close up of the gator with its mouth open and thought the obstacle avoidance would make it fly away. It was only the 2nd time using the Spark”. Presumably, the sensitive lithium battery inside the device didn’t take kindly to being eaten by a gator and exploded in its mouth.

https://www.tiktok.com/@devhlanger/video/7002206468816555269?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

After some speculation on Twitter and many comments pointing out that National Parks are no-fly zones for drones due to disturbing the wildlife (and presumably not setting said wildlife on fire). The original poster clarified that he was outside of the National Park and so wasn’t in fact breaking any laws regarding drone flying. Many people have pointed out that he was in fact flying far too close to the alligator allowing it to snap up the drone in an unexpected attack. You can see from the video that they are probably correct. Drones, in general, can make a lot of noise and disturb wildlife, as DIYP reported earlier this year when a reckless drone pilot caused 1500 eggs to be abandoned by nesting birds.

‘George’ the alligator, as he’s become known, was apparently fine after the incident. “George is doing fine and still looked hungry after,” says @devhlanger. He continues “[it was] accidental…direct your anger towards alligator farms.” 

I am inclined to agree with other Twitter users that he was flying dangerously close to unpredictable wildlife, putting the animals and potentially themselves in danger. Possibly piloting a drone only twice before is not ample opportunity to really be in control of the device to be flying in such tricky circumstances. Really it was bound to end badly, one way or another. 

While I would prefer not to run into an alligator after dark (or in daylight actually thinking about it!), they are pretty fascinating creatures. The apex predators also eat fruit (as well as drones), are brilliant mothers, and play an important role in their wetland ecosystems by creating small ponds known as alligator holes. These holes retain water during the dry season and provide habitats for other animals. I hope ‘George’ goes on to live a long and healthy life and avoids digital aperitifs in future.

What do you think? Was the drone pilot being reckless?

[via NY Post]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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7 responses to “Watch: Alligator turns into smoke-billowing dragon after chomping down on drone”

  1. Dunja0712 Avatar
    Dunja0712

    These people are morons. They disturbed the animal and could have it seriously hurt! :(

  2. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    They authority should charged them for cruelty to animal.

  3. Kyle Head Avatar
    Kyle Head

    Have you seen what happens when you puncture a drone battery? I can promise you that the alligator is NOT okay. This is animal cruelty due to another idiot on TikTok.

  4. udi tirosh Avatar
    udi tirosh

    Sigh. I geuss digestive acid and batteries don’t mix well. In an surprised that the elegator survived this internal combustion, those batteries can really create some damage when they go off

  5. lewisfrancis Avatar
    lewisfrancis

    I’m thinking we probably shouldn’t take dude’s word for it that the gator is ok. Unless the burning battery exited his mouth, and quickly, it surely severely burned the animals gullet and stomach in addition to the mouth, likely burning through the stomach lining. Not good.

  6. John Havord Avatar
    John Havord

    More than likely, that alligator will be severely injured, or even dead. Those idiots should be facing criminal charges.

  7. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Well, first off I had to look elsewhere to see the video, I don’t do the Tik Tok pollution. So, to think this gator is OK after that is just because she didn’t want to be responsible for its injuries. The inside of a gators mouth is very sensitive much like our own so you can imagine what it would be like it you chomped down on a lithium ion battery. I really hope that since they know who she is that the Florida Fish and Game will go after her for cruelty to animals among other charges of irresponsible use of a drone.