Alligator seen carrying dead alligator on its back in bizarre scene on Central Florida lake

What started out as a birthday celebration turned into an out-of-the-ordinary alligator sighting for a woman in Central Florida. 

On Friday, Dawn Jarman was celebrating her birthday on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, somewhere she goes every weekend, she told FOX 35 News. While driving along the Lake Apopka North Shore, Jarman and her two friends spotted something they've never seen before – an alligator carrying a dead alligator on its back through the water. 

"I go on that drive every weekend and you see different things every time you go, some more exciting than the others," Jarman told FOX 35 News. "But this was definitely a first." 

Photo: Dawn Jarman

The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is a free, self-guided audio tour for visitors to see the plants and animals on a one-way, 11-mile stretch of the Lake Apopka North Shore.

Jarman was quick to whip out her phone to capture the "total National Geographic moment," which showed an alligator carrying another gator on its back, which appeared to be white. 

"We saw the dead alligator in the distance as we were approaching it and thought that it was just sitting in the water," Jarman said. "Once my friend who was driving stopped the car when we were next to it, it started moving and we realized there was a gator pulling it."

Photo: Dawn Jarman

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission weighed in on the state of the dead gator, saying the alligator on top is definitely white from decomposition. 

"It’s pale because the skin is starting to sluff off," Vincent Deem, a research scientist at FWC's alligator and crocodile program, said in a statement to FOX 35 News. "Other gators will scavenge on it so a live gator tugging on it is not surprising."

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Photo: Dawn Jarman

Alligator safety tips

The FWC provided the following safety tips when it comes to coming into contact and preventing conflicts with alligators:

  • Keep a safe distance if you see an alligator
  • Keep pets on a leash and away from the water's edge
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours and without your pet
  • Never feed an alligator (it's illegal – and dangerous)

If you're concerned about an alligator, contact FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR.