Local Cooter Survives 15 Minute Alligator Attack
Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia – Patrick Castleberry, a wild life photographer of American animals, was conducting a study of heron birds when he photographed an alligator preying on a local cooter turtle.
The full grown alligator scooped up the cooter into its jaws and began what it most likely thought would be a tasty treat. It was not to be.
Castleberry’s photographed showed the turtle helpless in the jaws of its predator, but, much to the surprise of the beast, it could not chomp through the cooter’s carapace or shell.
Cooters are common in the Eastern United States and often grow to seventeen inches in length weighing 22 lbs.
That should have been quite the snack for the alligator which repeatedly tried to masticate the cooter over a fifteen minute period before giving up. Castleberry admits that he expected the alligator to prevail in the end, but it did not.
The alligator tried biting down on the turtle from different positions before leaving. Afterwards, Castleberry approached the turtle which he assumed would be dead or maimed but found it alive.
Patrick, 51, told the SUN: “It was definitely turtle one, alligator nil.
I was taking shots of a great heron and saw out the corner of my eye what looked like a ball bouncing beside the water.
“I quickly realised what it was and thought the alligator was going to win in the end at cracking the shell.
“When he finally gave up I walked over to the turtle expecting it to be dead and was amazed to find it quite alive and on its back. I flipped it over and it scrambled into the water.”
The turtle quickly regained its footing and moved with haste back into the swamp where it disappeared. Cooters are mainly aquatic reptiles.
Tough turtle escapes jaws of death