TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A photographer captured a striking photo showing a blue heron holding a baby alligator in its beak.
Loukik Thakre was at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, when he saw the bird with the gator dangling in its mouth and snapped a photo. He said it took him two hours to capture the stunning moment.
Thakre shared the photo on social media with the caption “Chopsticks.” When asked about the gator’s fate, Thakre said the bird “swallowed it completely.”
“That’s the way it goes,” one user commented. “They must find food, so, the baby gator was a meal. That’s nature!”
Blue herons, which make their homes in marsh and wetland environments around North America, mostly eat fish, according to the National Audubon Society. However, their diets are adaptable to what they can find around them, so sometimes they’ll eat frogs, salamanders, rodents, and even tiny gators.
Full-grown alligators don’t have many predators, but eggs and juveniles are more vulnerable, notes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Raccoons, otters, birds, and even fish are all known to prey on young alligators.