Two massive alligators showed golfers the true meaning of a “sudden death playoff” this week on a Hardeeville, South Carolina golf course.
The Golf Club at Hilton Head Lakes, which is actually located in Hardeeville, South Carolina about 30 minutes northwest of Hilton Head Island, posted the viral video Thursday. It’s been shared more than 1,800 times.
“Sudden death playoff on the 18 yesterday!” The Golf Club at Hilton Head Lakes posted as a caption for the video. “Keep your eyes open out there, the course is full of wildlife!”
In the video, you can hear the alligators roar as they scramble mouth-to mouth in an all-out brawl.
The Island Packet reports that the two alligators went at it for more than two hours and each eventually (survived and) parted ways.
An alligator expert told FITSNews that the alligators look like they’re both male and this was likely a fight over territory/ mates.
Commenters went wild over the viral video.
“Is anyone gonna jump in there and start counting?!” someone joked.
“I will never golf again, but I certainly wouldn’t golf where dinosaurs are fighting it out!” one person said.
“Adding this to my nightmare tonight,” said another commenter.
“One of these has to be a descendent of the gator that took Chubb’s hand,” another commenter said (referring to the classic movie “Happy Gilmore“).
In all seriousness, it is alligator mating season and it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.
Breeding season, when male alligators are spotted in strange places far from lagoons as they search for their mates, typically runs from April to May.
“Alligators are more mobile during mating season, which can increase the likelihood of encountering one on land or in a new area,” biologist Morgan Hart of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said. “Remain aware of your surroundings, and if you encounter an alligator remain calm, do not approach the alligator, do not move between the alligator and the nearest body of water, and if the alligator seems disturbed by your presence, move away from the alligator.”
While alligator attacks are rare in South Carolina, they are becoming more common as more humans move to alligator-populated areas.
“Alligators have lived in South Carolina ponds, lakes, and marshlands for millions of years,” Hart told FITSNews. “As more people move to the state and development increases in coastal areas, the likelihood of encountering an alligator also increases.”
Earlier this month, an alligator dragged a South Carolina woman into a Kiawah Island lagoon and drowned her to death. She was approaching the alligator and trying to touch it at the time when she was attacked, according to a police report.
It was the second fatal alligator attack in two years and only the third ever recorded in South Carolina’s history.
As of August, there were 23 total alligator attacks since 1915, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 14 of those attacks occurred in Beaufort County according to SCDNR records.
SCDNR biologists told FITSNews that while there is no magic number for a safe distance between you and a predator, “staying at least 10 feet from the water’s edge whether you see an alligator or not is a good starting point.”
And if you do see an alligator, stay alert and do not approach it. The woman in Kiawah was said to be getting closer to the alligator to take photos of the animal at the time of the attack. Experts say it’s possible that the alligator confused the woman with another animal.
“Alligators are large predators,” Hart said. “They should always be respected as such. Humans are not a natural prey source for alligators, but they can occasionally confuse people for other animals. As with any wild animal, do not approach or try to interact.”
While alligators are fierce predators, they mostly attack either in water or very close to the water’s edge.
“Alligators do not hunt on land,” SCDNR experts told FITSNews. “They are ambush predators and use their effective camouflage to stay hidden and submerged in water to quietly approach prey.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].
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