Massive Alligator Caught On Hidden Camera Chowing Down On Animal Carcass

A large male alligator in Georgia was caught on camera swimming out of the swamp and chowing down on a beaver carcass.

Biologists at the University of Georgia Coastal Ecology Lab discovered a dead beaver floating at the Okefenokee Swamp Park and decided to leave a camera next to the carcass to review what sort of animal would claim it.

"As curious biologists, we placed a game camera on it to see what would happen to it," the University of Georgia's Coastal Ecology Laboratory wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. "Our curiosity paid off as the game camera captured the below photos of an adult male alligator eating the dead beaver!"

In August 2020, the UGA Coastal Ecology Lab partnered with the Okefenokee Swamp Park to provide information about conservation and management of the swamp as well as tracking the local alligator population.

"The American alligator remains a conservation concern for a number of reasons, including human persecution and loss of native habitat," Kimberly Andrews, an ecologist and faculty member with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, said. "It is important for us to understand how these reptiles are adapting to survive in a human-dominated environment."

The same day the camera was placed, a massive male alligator appeared in view. Once in full view, the camera began snapping photos of the large reptile.

In photos posted on Facebook by the lab, the alligator reached his entire head out of the water and attempted to get the beaver carcass in his mouth.

In another photo, the alligator sank back into the water, revealing just the top of his snout.

"He pushed it around for a bit but eventually left the beaver where he found it and disappeared," the biologists wrote.

The carcass remained in the same place where it was pecked at by vultures. But two days later, the same alligator returned to try again.

"He proceeded to push the dead beaver around some more, tried to drag it underwater, before taking a break and basking next to it for four hours!" the biologists said. "After he rested, he put the beaver in his mouth and swam off."

Although it has not been confirmed how the beaver died, the lab said on Facebook that it is very possible that the alligator killed the beaver.

"Often, alligators will hunt live prey that they can consume for multiple meals," the lab wrote. "They will stash them and eat off of them as they decompose as they are easier to consume in that state. They are also scavengers of already dead animals, and it is not uncommon for one alligator to still another one's cache."

Newsweek reached out to the UGA Coastal Ecology Lab but did not receive comment in time for publication.

Alligator in water
Biologists at the University of Georgia Coastal Ecology Lab caught pictures of a massive alligator chowing down on a beaver carcass. Mark Wilson/Getty Images