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Watch Manatee Playfully Pursue Alligator in Florida

manatee playfully stalks alligator
manatee playfully stalks alligator

A video recently surfaced showcasing a manatee’s playful pursuit of an alligator in Sarasota County’s Myakka River State Park. The video, which has since garnered significant attention, offers a rare glimpse into the interactions between two of Florida’s most iconic aquatic creatures.

Manatee playfully follows alligator
Image credit: Courtesy of WGAL(screenshot from YouTube)

Dennis Osha, the wildlife photographer behind the lens, was initially focused on capturing the alligator’s serene swim. However, the scene took an unexpected turn when a manatee suddenly appeared, trailing closely behind the reptile. At first, I was just filming the large gator since it was swimming by directly below me when the manatee popped in,” Osha remarked. He described the unexpected encounter as “a very pleasant surprise.”

Osha’s footage provides a unique perspective on the harmonious coexistence of these two species in their natural habitat. Contrary to what one might expect, the manatee displayed no signs of distress or fear. Instead, it seemed driven by sheer curiosity.

Watch Manatee Pursue Alligator

YouTube video

Cathy Beck, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, noted that while mother manatees have been observed shielding their calves from larger alligators, there’s generally no aggressive behavior displayed by alligators towards these gentle sea cows.

Such harmonious interactions between species are a testament to nature’s balance. As Osha observed during his visit, multiple alligators and manatees were seen swimming in proximity, emphasizing their peaceful cohabitation in the park’s waters.

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