Florida Tour Guide Captures Rare Saltwater Run-In With Alligator on Camera

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 22, 2018US News

A Florida tour guide captured an unusual run-in with an alligator on camera.

Brian Scuderi, who works for Marco Island Water Sports, captured a video on Sept. 17 of the alligator while leading a tour group on a WaveRunner tour at the Gulf of Mexico resort.

Scuderi and guests discussed whether it was a saltwater crocodile, which are known to live in southern Florida, or an alligator out of its normal freshwater habitat before the gator made a dramatic exit.

Scuderi said he’d never seen anything like it.

“Guys I’ve been doing this for 11 years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this,” he said.

CBS said it confirmed with Marco Island Water Sports that it was, in fact, a gator, not a croc.

Gators in Salt Water

Ameican alligators have a low tolerance for salt, according to Florida State University.

“They can only handle being exposed to salt water for a small length of time, but will sometimes live in brackish water. These reptiles favor calmer waters and primarily occupy swamps and marshes. They can also be found in rivers, lakes, and other small bodies of water,” the university stated.

Gators can encounter salt water while abandoning their dens and moving to new locations, or during adverse weather events.

Gators in salt water aren’t unheard of but are rare.

Other gator sightings in salt water have happened in Florida in the last several years. A gator was spotted swimming off the coast of Fort Myers Beach in Southwest Florida in June, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

That followed an alligator making its way onto the beach on Florida’s east coast near Dania Beach in November 2017.

Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater crocodiles, on the other hand, prefer salt water to fresh water.

“The saltwater crocodile shows a high tolerance for salinity, being found mostly in coastal waters or around rivers. It may also be found in freshwater rivers, billabongs, and swamps,” according to the University of Michigan.

The crocs do utilize fresh water for breeding and raising juveniles.

“The saltwater crocodile breeds during the wet season, which falls between the months of November and March. Despite the fact that the saltwater crocodile is normally found in saltwater areas, breeding grounds are established in fresh water. Males mark out their territory and become defensive if another male tries to enter,” the university stated.

Video Credit: Marco Island Water Sports via Storyful

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