FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — An Everglades alligator would have been snake chow if not for a man who saved it from a suffocating death.
The Miami Herald reports that Florida trapper Mike Kimmel and friend Jack Hubbard had spotted the python near some bushes, and realized as they approached that it was wrapped around a small gator.
In a video posted to Facebook, Kimmel is seen grabbing the 10-foot-long snake by the head and lifting it up. The python is still coiled around its prey, but soon releases its grip.
The 4-foot gator falls to the ground and quickly scurries away, but the snake isn't so lucky. Like all the others Kimmel's caught, it'll be euthanized and turned over to the state for study. Once it's given back, he claims its skin is sold and its meat used as well.
As a contractor for the South Florida Water Management District's snake removal program, Kimmel says this is the third gator he's saved from a python in the past year.
The invasive snakes were likely introduced to the Everglades via the exotic pet trade, and have since displaced gators as the top predator.
In the last year alone, Kimmel and other contractors have removed over a thousand pythons — but the problem is persistent, and won't go away anytime soon.