Outdoors Magazine

Mother American Alligator with a Baby Gator on Its Head

By Stabone @stabone


I had incredible luck today, while on Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, when I saw and was able to photograph a VERY large mother alligator with one of her young gators on her head. I had heard of such gator behavior, but I never imagined I would be able to photograph it.


Based on the length of the baby gator (about 12″), I estimate the length of the mother alligator to be over 10 feet. As you can see from the images, she was keeping a close eye on me.

I shot the images with a Nikon D810 and 80-400mm lens. Since it was very overcast and the light poor and because I was hand-holding the camera, I shot the images at a high ISO of 2000 to enable shooting at 1/500 sec, f/5.6. Because the D810 produces low noise images at high ISOs, I did not need to apply any noise reduction to the images.

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