The chilling video shows alligators in the river dozens of feet away from children playing and jumping in the water.
The video on TikTok was uploaded by user @zayyypradaa on June 15 and received more than 1.5 million likes. Viewers were warned that the video contained profanity. The video shows an alligator swimming in Florida river water, hidden among green algae on the surface, while teens and children jump off rope swings at a nearby beach.
In the comments on the terrifying video, which has garnered more than 150,000 likes, @zayyypradaaa writes that it was filmed on the Wacissa River in north Florida, about twenty miles east of Tallahassee.
Alligators, also known as American alligators, are found in all sixty-seven counties in Florida. They are also found throughout the southern states, including parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Florida alone is known to have about 1.3 million alligators. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says they live in the state’s swamps and reservoirs. Alligator prey is usually fish, reptiles, and sometimes large mammals like deer.
These vast reptiles can grow up to twelve feet long and have one of the most powerful bite forces of any living animal, up to 2,000 pounds per square inch. By comparison, a human bite is only 120 pounds per square inch.
Alligators do not usually hunt humans but may attack humans in self-defense. Alligators are most active during the warm spring and summer months since they are cold-blooded and are even more active during the mating season of May and June.
Alligator attacks are relatively rare but can be deadly. According to a 2005 study published in Wilderness Environmental Medicine, 376 injuries and 15 deaths from such encounters occurred between 1948 and August 1, 2004. Alligators are especially dangerous in the water, which is where they can be seen in the videos.
When an alligator is in the water, its element automatically gives it an advantage and makes it much more dangerous.
Last week, an alligator attacked a thirteen-year-old boy while swimming at Howell Creek in Winter Springs, Florida. Last month an alligator attacked a pet dog at Riverside Park in Oviedo, near Orlando. The most recent death by an alligator attack occurred in Fort Pierce, Florida, when eighty-five-year-old Gloria Serge was attacked and killed after trying to save her dog from the creature.
Hardwick advises avoiding alligators and staying out of the water if they are spotted.
Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. So also avoid nighttime swimming,” Hardwick added. Avoid swimming outside of designated swimming areas or in bodies of water where large alligators may be present. Dogs often attract alligator interest, so do not swim with your dog.
It should also be noted that you should not feed alligators. It is dangerous and illegal.