Someone should have told the guy in the photo below that the real hazard on the 10th hole at Fiddler’s Creek in Naples, Florida, isn’t the lake behind him.
But kudos to the intrepid golfer for observing the strict rules of golf and dropping the ball within two club lengths of the point where it last crossed the hazard line—even if it meant dropping within a few yards of a life-and-death battle between a huge alligator and a Burmese python.
Alligators sightings are common on Florida golf courses. Pythons, not so much, though their visibility is increasing. That’s why Florida dentist Richard Nadler reacted with surprise when he saw the struggle on the fairway of the Arthur Hills-designed golf course.
“Wild” day on the 10th hole today!” Nadler posted on his Facebook page. “That’s an alligator and a Burmese python entwined. The alligator seems to have the upper hand.”
Burmese pythons, which average 12 feet in length, have proliferated in the Florida Everglades over the last 40 years, with population estimates reaching 300,000 on the high end. The giant snakes prey on a variety of native wildlife, including crocodiles.
In the case of this battle with an alligator, however, it was the python that ended up in the gator’s mouth.
Even with the alligator preoccupied with his slithering victim, it took no small amount of courage for the golfer in the photo to take his penalty drop in such close proximity.