A Florida man captures a hilarious moment when a VERY daring turtle hitchhikes on a 10-foot-tall alligator and rides around a pond ‘like it’s a horse’
- Wildlife photographer Jef Henninger captured the rare photo on Monday
- The turtle and alligator were caught on camera padding over the Tampa pond
- Alligators are known to prey on turtles, which makes the photo even more unusual
A Florida man captured the hilarious moment when a very cheeky turtle hitched a ride on the back of a 10-foot alligator.
Wildlife photographer Jef Henninger captured the unusual encounter Monday as he walked near a pond in Tampa.
Surprised by the alligator’s docile behavior — as alligators are known to prey on turtles — he posted the photo to his Facebook, Traveling with Jef, with the caption, “You know you’re in #florida when you see a turtle cruising around on an alligator. a pond as if it were a horse.’
said Henninger Yahoo News he’s witnessed many unique animal moments in the Sunshine State, but said this particular event was one of the best: “You really don’t see this kind of thing anywhere else.”
When he left the area and returned an hour later, the two reptilian friends were still hanging out together, but this time the turtle had made its way to a nearby tree trunk for a while alone.
Wildlife photographer Jef Henninger captured the unusual encounter Monday as he walked by a pond in Tampa as the pair enjoyed a quiet moment as they swam across the water in harmony.
He posted the photo to his Facebook on Monday after witnessing the unusual encounter
said Henninger News week he has a lot of experience with alligators and said “they don’t seem to care (other animals) much.”
Most alligators have a natural fear of humans, but other than that they will usually share their space with birds, turtles and other animals,” he added.
The photo of Henninger’s prey and predator photo garnered dozens of views and comments on his Facebook page, with some locals seemingly unsurprised.
One of them said, “If you live here, it’s like, ‘Just another day in Florida.’
But those unfamiliar with Florida’s terrain and wildlife were stunned. One person wrote: “Wow, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Others who traveled to other natural areas said they hoped to see something as beautiful as what Henninger captured.
“We’re at Nawlin’s and going on a swamp tour tomorrow. Hopefully we get to see something cool like this!!’, one person wrote.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders that hunt and prey on species that are abundant and accessible, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
Turtles are often a staple in the diet of adult alligators, including snakes, small mammals and birds.
There are approximately 1.3 million alligators in Floridaaccording to the state wildlife commission.
The state has more than 30 species of native turtles, most of which live in freshwater.
Both reptiles can be found in ponds, swamps, rivers and wetlands.