An alligator that looks like it’s riding a manatee, on the other hand ― that’s a pretty cool image.
Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how you look at it — a viral photo that appears to show an alligator aboard a manatee in Florida isn’t quite what it seems. It actually depicts an alligator swimming directly above a manatee, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which posted the image from Blue Spring State Park on its Facebook page.
Alligators are not typically predators of manatees and the two species mostly ignore each other, according to the Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit dedicated to the large marine mammals.
Florida Fish and Wildlife posted the picture on Nov. 30. Due to the mysteries of the internet, it only started making the rounds in the media this week.
Jacksonville resident Dana Menk, who snapped the photo, told The Dodo on Tuesday that the unlikely pair swam close together for about 100 feet. And she had a theory about what was going on.
“I’ve seen manatees scratch their back on kayaks and structures, so who knows, maybe she was getting a back scratch,” Menk said.
More animals riding other animals ...