We’ve seen a lot of things go down in the swampy marshes of the Florida Everglades. But nothing like this.
An alligator looking for its next meal was left with a mouth full of smoke after it attacked and tried to eat a flying drone.
A now viral TikTok video, which was reportedly filmed in the Everglades, shows the gator jump out of the water to snatch his hovering prey ... and crunch. As the gator munches on the drone, his mouth starts smoking, and we mean like really smoking.
The second part of the video, which was posted earlier this week and has more than five million views, shows the gator’s mouth filling with white smoke as he bites into the device. The plume grows larger, and larger and larger until it completely hides the gator from view.
“Oh my God, don’t eat that,” a woman is heard saying in the video. “George no, no.”
“Is it on fire right now?” another woman asks.
At one point, the gator, who the people in the video call George, ducks under the water and comes back up, tendrils of smoke still surrounding him. He ducks again, and this time upon resurfacing, the smoke is mostly gone.
“We gotta get out of here,” the first woman in the recording says.
You can hear other voices in the background and some laughter. One man hopes the gator can digest the drone. Another man wonders if the gator’s tongue was burned.
The video has drawn concern from viewers, including Everglade park rangers who posted about the incident on Instagram.
“Drones and alligators don’t mix,” Everglades National Park Service wrote on Instagram.
The park service said it doesn’t know where the video was taken. It also listed a few reminders including that drones are prohibited in the park. Harassing wildlife is also prohibited and could cost you up to $5,000 in fines.
It’s not clear if officials are searching for the people involved in the incident or if they will face any charges or penalties. Everglades National Park officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dehvlanger, the TikTok user who posted the video, wrote that the group was trying to get a close-up of the alligator during a trip to the Everglades when it attacked their drone. The user’s caption claims George “is doing fine and still looked hungry after.” (We don’t know if this is true)
The Miami Herald was unable to reach Devhlanger. The person doesn’t accept messages from people they don’t follow on TikTok and their Instagram account is private. Comments on the videos were also disabled.
Everglades National Park said people and their equipment should always be at least 15 feet away from wildlife to keep you and the animals safe.
“In general, if animals react to your presence, you are too close,” the park wrote on Instagram. “If you’re close enough for a selfie, you’re definitely too close.”
It ended the post with some words of wisdom: “Let wildlife be wild.”