A man made a surprising find while golfing in Naples, Florida.
Richard Nadler and a group of friends were enjoying a round at Naples' Golf Club at Fiddler's Creek on Friday (12 January) when they came across an extraordinary scene: an alligator was fighting off a Burmese python right on the edge of the course.
"'Wild" day on the 10th hole today! That's a an alligator and a Burmese python entwined. The alligator seems to have the upper hand," Nadler wrote in a post on Facebook, along with pictures of the fight. One can see the large alligator poised with the snake's tail in his mouth while the python circles its adversary's waist.
The picture had gathered more than 3,100 likes and was shared more than 19,000 times at time of writing.
"It's an absolutely beautiful course, with tons of wildlife. We don't normally see these animals entwined or having a fight or fighting for their life," Nadler told NBC2.
"There was no grappling going on — nothing. The python's head was in the mouth of the alligator and the alligator was just sitting there absolutely still with his eyes wide open not moving," he added. "And he had all these people around him these golf carts and people walking around taking photographs."
Nadler was surprised with the attention his pictures garnered, saying he had found the feedback interesting: "So many people thought it was fake and Photoshopped. It was very funny."
Dan Brecker, also an avid golfer, decided to travel from Iowa to visit the Fiddler's Creek golf club.
"I saw the video in Iowa about the alligator with the python wrapped around it, and it was something. So I came right down stay at Marco Island and I'm going to go out tomorrow and play at Fiddler's Creek," he said.
Fiddler's Creek told NBC2 that security was on the scene to make sure nobody would get hurt, and that the incident lasted about 4 hours. No one knows who won for sure, but some suggest the alligator might have dragged the python into the waters by the creek.
"Apparently there was no intervention and the next morning they were all gone and the assumption was that the alligator won and that was the end of it," Nadler said
Following the severe weather conditions that have recently been plaguing the US, the country's fauna has had to readapt.
Snakes like the Burmese python found on the gold course, who usually hide in water throughout cold weather, have been dragged out of their hiding places by frost and negative temperatures. It makes winter 2018 a prime python-spotting period for snake lovers.
Pythons are commons in Florida, where they've been seen in the wild since the 1930s.