Huge Hissing Florida Alligator Snaggletooth Filmed Up Close During Everglades Encounter

Footage of a huge, hissing alligator in Florida's Everglades has been released by a wildlife photographer after a close encounter with the predator.

The video, taken by Conny Randolph, was shared on the Big Cypress Gallery's Facebook page, an art gallery in the Everglades, on Tuesday. It shows a large alligator, called Snaggletooth, or Loosescrew, emerge from a swamp behind a set of trees and walk towards Randolph, before sinking back down into a swamp. Randolph retreats a little and can be heard saying "I'm going to back up a little bit," while the alligator clicks and hisses in the background. The filming then stops after 23 seconds.

"An encounter with Loosescrew, aka Snaggletooth," said Big Cypress Gallery. "When wildlife approaches, slowly and carefully give them their space."

The alligator in the film made Loosescrew Sanctuary his home. According to Clyde Butcher, who owns the sanctuary and Big Cypress Gallery, he is an "impressive, dominant bull alligator."

"I spotted Snaggletooth as we were coming back to the property," Randolph told Newsweek. "He was bigger than I had last seen him—that was good, it meant he was flourishing!"

"But his size made my heart begin to race," she said. "I knew his habit was to visit our surrounding deep water holes in search of isolated, breeding females."

Randolph could tell it was Snaggletooth because of a deformation that causes his right lower jaw teeth to protrude in a peculiar way. She positioned herself behind a medium-sized cypress tree a little off the direction he appeared to be heading.

"This was the closest Loosescrew, aka Snaggletooth, has ever come to me," said Randolph. "He was on a mission, and I was not a part of his plans.

"My movement startled him and caused him to make those incredible sounds he made—but they only added to the speed and power of my already pounding heart!"

The American alligator can be found in swamps, marshes and even rivers and lakes across the southeast United States—their range stretching from North Carolina on one end to Texas and Oklahoma on the other.

Adult males can reach lengths of 13 to 15 feet, while females tend to be a little shorter at around 10 feet. According to the National Park Service, South Florida's alligators tend to be a little shorter than average.

A 2019 report by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences said the number of nuisance alligator reports appeared to have increased in recent years. This may be at least partially caused by people moving to coastal and freshwater locations, particularly as populations of the previously-endangered American alligator has started to recover. Unprovoked attacks remain rare.

The report says that on average, there is one fatality a year caused by an alligator in the U.S. It notes that 58 fatalities are caused by hornets, wasps, and bees. Dogs account for a further 28.

Randolph, who arrived in South Florida with her husband more than ten years ago, says they encounter alligators and snakes less than half the time they explore the wild.

"I wish it was more frequent," she said. "But in our time exploring and living in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, we have had fewer and fewer encounters with wildlife. The number of our native inhabitants is diminishing and this is very sad!

This article has been updated to include comments from Conny Randolph.

American  Alligator in Everglades Alligator Farm
An American Alligator walks out of the alligator lagoon at Everglades Alligator Farm in Homestead, Florida, on June 24, 2016. A wildlife photographer filmed her close encounter with an alligator called Snaggletooth on Monday. RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty