Lakeland gators especially active during mating season

- Chomp. Crunch. And down it goes.

The number of videos showing bigger alligators attacking and eating smaller ones become easier to find on the Internet. Many of them are recorded on cell phones at Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland.

Andrew Lilyquist is getting shots of a lifetime. He and his buddy recently went to the reserve to see if they could catch that scene on video and boy, did they?

"My heart started beating really fast, and just the adrenaline kicked in," Lilyquist told FOX 13 News. "We were really excited."

Other visitors got the same thrill.

Wildlife experts said, this time of year, alligators are extremely aggressive towards one another due to increasing temperatures and the alligator mating season.

Experts also said, it's wise to give alligators their distance, no matter what time of year. The gators at the reserve have become so active recently, the Marsh Rabbit Run trail was temporarily closed to visitors. 

"Gators tend to be somewhat cannibalistic," said Gary Morse of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
"So if you see a gator missing a tail, or perhaps a leg, or half a snout, that's probably an altercation with another alligator."

Morse said the conflict might be over territory or winning a mate.

The result, however, is the same. With gators, there is a winner and a loser, which gives the reserve's visitors the picture-taking opportunity of a lifetime.

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