A Valiant Struggle

Walking along the boardwalk at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida, I was taking pictures of birds when I heard a thunderous roar emerging from under the boardwalk. I also heard a huge splash and people screaming. I knew without looking that an alligator had emerged from hiding and grabbed something in the water. Looking into the water I saw the alligator with a turtle in its mouth. My emotions elevated into help mode and my impulse was to grab a stick and hit the beast in an effort to free the turtle that was attempting to escape but caught on the alligator’s huge teeth. I also realized the alligator could severely injure or even kill me.

Instinctively I raised my camera and started shooting. The poor turtle was valiantly attempting escape but the alligator clamped down on the turtle, held it underwater, and swam to a distant shore. The turtle evidently remained alive as evidenced by the alligator’s heavy splashing, and then all ceased. Everything happened in seconds. The pictures from that day speak for themselves; my emotions enter overload when I view them.
—Dennis Gershwin
Lake Worth, FL

Technical Info: Photo was taken with a Nikon D300 and an 80-400mm lens at 80mm. Exposure was f/7.1 at 1/160 sec and ISO 320.
© D Gershwin

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