All you can eat buffet! Alligators swim in a smorgasbord of catfish that got stranded in their Florida swamp after nearby waterways ran dry
- Staff at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Fl. stumbled upon the rare sight
- Footage shows bundles of walking catfish wriggling over three alligators
- In the dry season, alligators dig holes to attract food and keep themselves wet
- Dr Shawn Clem, Director of Research at the sanctuary said: ‘They’re kind of creating their own dry season oasis’
Footage has surfaced of a group of Alligators swimming through a smorgasbord of catfish that got stranded in their Florida pond after nearby waterways ran dry.
Staff at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, stumbled on a pond-full of rare walking catfish taking a stroll over three alligators after the fish were trapped in a ditch.
An invasive species, which is native to Asia, the uncommon fish is famed for being abile to walk on land when in search of a new habitat and being able to breathe air.
Pictured: Alligators under the mass of walking catfish at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida
Pictured: Alligators under the mass of walking catfish at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida. Staff said seeing that many of the invasive species in one place was super-rare
Corkscrew staff said seeing that many walking catfish in one place was an incredibly rare sight.
‘I couldn’t believe how many fish there were in that one spot,’ Shawn Clem, Ph.D., Director of Research for the sanctuary, told NBC. ‘And that they were all, or almost all, the same, nonnative species.’
Florida is just coming out of its dry season, which drives animals to search out new homes in order to survive the heat.
Pictured: The ‘alligator hole’ at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida. Alligators create their holes in the dry season to attract food and keep themselves wet
In the hotter months, alligators dig out substrate and vegetation to create small ponds and many fish will seek them out to survive.
The holes also serve a second purpose for the alligators, attracting their food source for times it’s too hot to hunt.
‘They’re kind of creating their own dry season oasis,’ Clem said.
According to NBC, the competitive ecosystem created by the alligators also attracts vultures looking for an easy meal.