ORANGE CITY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Florida woman managed to snap a photo of an alligator appearing to "ride" on top of a manatee as the duo entered Blue Spring State Park. The picture was posted to Florida Fish and Wildlife's Facebook page as part of a manatee photo contest.
An FWC manatee expert said the reptile actually just happened to be swimming over the sea cow when the picture was taken, even though the alligator appears to be hitching a ride.
"I would guess that these manatees were hanging out near warm water or heading to warm water and the alligator was looking for a sunny spot to hang out along the shoreline and they simply crossed paths," Ron Mezich said in a statement.
Since alligators and manatees live in similar habitats it's not unusual to see them near each other, but there's no need to worry for the manatee's safety. The FWC said alligators are not a threat to manatees larger than a calf.