WATCH: Smoke Pours From Alligator's Mouth After It Pulls Down Flying Drone
By Dave Basner
September 1, 2021
Anyone who has seen a drone flying near them knows two things: 1. It can easily be mistaken for a bird, insect or other animal, and 2. It can be really annoying. It seems certain animals feel the same way because a video came out this week showing an alligator in Florida snatching a drone flying above it because it either mistook it for prey or was just really bothered by it. Either way, the scene made for some dramatic video, but the real drama began after the gator grabbed the drone from midair - while the destroyed device was in the reptile's mouth, it started pillowing out white smoke.
The caption on the video reveals that the tourists who were operating the drone weren't that familiar with how to use it and it was only their second time flying it. They were under the impression that the drone's remote sensor would prevent it from getting too close to the animal. The caption says, "We were trying to get a close-up of the gator with its mouth open and thought the obstacle avoidance would make the drone fly away, it was only our second time using the [drone]."
**WARNING: This video contains some strong language.***
While drones can provide beautiful imagery of Mother Nature and help with research, they also can negatively affect wildlife. Many animals will run from the devices, causing them to be stressed and fatigued.
Animal experts urge operators to keep their drones far away from animals, and if they notice any change in a creature's behavior in response to the drone, to stop flying it in that area immediately.
As yet, there is no word on what happened to the alligator, or if the drone operator will face any charges.