Gordon Silver says it's common to see alligators in his Lakewood Ranch neighborhood, but was still shocked to capture incredible video of two large gators getting "acquainted," as he called it, right in his own backyard.
The video starts with a low growling sound as the two reptiles appear next to each other on the water's edge. Soon both open their jaws and latch onto one another, tumbling three times as they splash next to the shore.
"Didn't have to leave my back yard to capture these 2 gators tossing each other around at the beginning of the 2021 mating season," Silver wrote in the video's caption.
He says you can often see the large reptiles in the area, "along with just about every other kind of wildlife."
(Courtesy: Gordon Silver)
"When I heard the gator mating call from inside my home, I immediately grabbed my camera and dashed outside to investigate," he told FOX 13. "I'm a big nature photographer and capturing wildlife right from your own back yard is something I always wanted to do."
Springtime means love is in the air -- even for alligators.
Gator mating season typically begins in May or June, but their courtship starts in early April. And that means more alligators sightings as the reptiles venture out in search of their mates.
By late June or early July, female gators will lay between 32 to 46 eggs. Incubation periods for alligators take about 60 to 65 days, and baby gators will be born in late August or early September, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
FWC provides the following safety tips when it comes to alligators:
Generally, alligators less than four feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled. However, if you encounter any alligator that you believe poses a threat to people, pets or property, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWCGATOR (866-392-4286). Please be aware, nuisance alligators are killed, not relocated.
Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water. Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.
Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.
Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Therefore, avoid swimming at night.
Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators. Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators.
Dogs often attract an alligator’s interest, so do not swim with your dog.
Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.
LINK: Learn more about alligators by visiting FWC's website.