Grisly experiment at south Georgia swamp leads to “monster” discovery

WAYCROSS, Ga. — Biologists in south Georgia set off on a grisly experiment at the Okefenokee Swamp Park that led to some “monster” results.

Back in January, biologists with the UGA Coastal Ecology Lab found a dead beaver floating in the swamp. So they did the natural thing that scientists do: Set a camera up next to the carcass to see what monster would rise from the deep to make it a meal.

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A series of photos taken by the researchers’ spy camera gives a spectacular, up-close look at the giant alligator that eventually snacked on the carcass in its natural habitat. The photos were captured over a period of a couple days in which the alligator snacked on, played with and basked with his prey.

“The large alligator appeared the same day the camera was deployed and the first photo was captured of him trying to get it into his mouth,” biologists wrote. “He pushed it around for a bit but eventually left the beaver where he found it and disappeared.”


Biologists said the carcass sat there for two days getting picked off by vultures before the alligator came back to play with it and then finally ate it in its entirety.

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“He proceeded to push the dead beaver around some more, tried to drag it underwater, before taking a break and basking next to it for four hours!” biologists wrote. “After he rested, he put the beaver in his mouth and swam off, with the bottom right photo being the last we saw of him.”

The Okefenokee Swamp is in the far southeast corner of the state and is home to an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 gators.

Welcome back to #GatorGossip Monday! Today we wanted to share some special footage that our game cameras captured back...

Posted by UGA Coastal Ecology Lab on Monday, February 28, 2022


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