Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Video: Gator snaps at photographer who got too close at Paynes Prairie

Perhaps this guy should have just used a zoom lens.

That may have been his reaction when he was nearly attacked by a gator last week while attempting to take a picture at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Gainesville.

A video that was posted June 17 on Facebook by Ben Boukari Jr. shows the gator lurching at the photographer, causing him to stumble behind some shrubbery as it chomped at a tripod and rested near his backpack before staring him down.

The photographer didn't relent, pausing before moving to the side and taking out his cell phone to catch a close-up of the gator while the "angry mama gator" — as Boukari Jr. referred to her — held her position.

After a few seconds, the gator took a step forward and appeared to be approaching the photographer before turning around and retreating to swampy water behind her.

But as he slowly went to retrieve his backpack, the gator re-emerged, running out of the water with her jaws opened and causing the photographer to backpedal once again — and drop his backpack just feet from the aggressive gator.

According to Boukari Jr., the photographer left a boardwalk above the gator to get a closer photo, and "gators typically just sun and leave visitors alone."

No word on whether the photographer was ever able to retrieve his backpack, or will opt for safer grounds the next time he endeavors to take a gator's picture.

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