Lurking shark attacks alligator in front of shocked tourists
This is the moment a shark swum up and took a bite out of an alligator at a dock in South Carolina in the US.
The unknown breed of shark swims up and latches onto the alligator’s leg for a moment before disappearing back underwater.
The encounter occurred after tourists at Hilten Head Island were throwing fish into the water to feed the ‘gator. Hoping for a free meal, the shark began circling and eventually decided to give the alligator a nip.
Footage of the attack was captured by Cory Conlon, who was holidaying at the tourist area at the time.
‘I was surprised to see this so I filmed it with my phone to show family and friends,’ Conlon told Storyful.
The alligator, not happy at being on the menu, spun round and started to charge at the shark – which beats a hasty retreat.
While it’s unclear what kind of shark it was, there are plenty of different species that frequent the waters around Hilten Head Island. Hammerheads, sharpnose, spinners and bonnet-heads have all been spotted near there.
Although both are apex predators, there is history of shark and alligators attacking and eating each other.
Dr James Nifong of Kansas State University said, ‘Alligators are opportunistic. They’re not going to pass up a big chunk of protein swimming by.’
Dr Nifong found instances of alligators eating lemon, nurse and bonnethead sharks – by pumping the stomachs of 500 alligators.
Prof Steven Gabrey at the Northwestern State University of Louisiana agreed ‘gators will eat anything that will fit in their mouths’, but has never found shark in their stomachs.