These photographs were taken mid July when the South Carolina Department Of Natural Resources was clearing grasses and other vegetation from the marshes and rice fields. The idea is to open flood gates (trunks) and drain sections to allow sunlight and water flow to clean thousands of acres naturally. At the same time the lowered water levels allow thousands of young birds, some endangered, access to a large food source.
Alligators live there, perhaps thousands, so a wild show was guaranteed.
Alligators are opportunist hunters. It was immediately recognized that anything living in the water would be streaming through the water trunks. Alligators came from other areas, climbed over the dikes, and joined in the free food fest. It was like a primordial dinner bell rang.
This was not a place for the small ones, but mid to large Alligators were everywhere.
One particular trunk ran right underneath a small dirt road on a dike. That’s where I basically parked myself. About 10 feet above the chaos, looking down and across the shrinking streams. At any given time there were between 30 to 40 large Alligators right below.
Most of the photos in the following gallery have not been published before, one or two that I really like are here since they add to the story.
Click any image to view the gallery.
This is not a common occurrence, most likely we will never see one again. Which is why I used 3 memory cards, and 2 cameras with an assortment of lens.
One last observation. If you had 30-40 humans, at a free buffet line, they would be much less civilized than these predators were.