A father and son in South Carolina had to idle in the road last weekend, while a 9-foot gator dragged a bloody, bloated carcass across the pavement.
Daniel Martin of Charleston, S.C., posted a 44-second video of the scene Monday on Facebook, explaining it happened just before midnight Saturday while he was camping in gator-rich Berkeley County, just north of Charleston.
"Wow, that's a big alligator," Martin is heard saying in the video. "And there's a fish or something in the middle of the road. He's coming to eat it."
Whether it was a very large fish or a baby deer is unclear. The alligator is seen cautiously crawling into the middle of the road, where it grabs the carcass with its mouth and drags it into the dark, leaving a trail of blood along the asphalt.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"And back in the water," Martin is heard saying, as the alligator vanishes.
The family was participating in an annual camp out with friends at the Short Stay Recreation Area on Lake Marion. Martin said he was with his 10-year-old son, Nathan, headed to a shower facility when they spotted the alligator.
"We drove up to the alligator...which startled him," Martin said. "Once he saw that we were not moving toward him anymore, he went back to get his meal...The incident made me paranoid that night when my wife had to go outside our cabin...because it took place like 100 yards away."
Nathan was clearly in awe of the alligator, repeatedly saying "Oh my god" in the background of the video as it grabbed the carcass from the roadway.
"He was as captivated about seeing the alligator as I was," Martin said in an email to the Charlotte Observer.
The video comes amidst a string of odd alligators encounters reported in South Carolina, including a 7-foot alligator that tried climbing a neighborhood fence in Mount Pleasant last month and a 6-foot alligator that sat unrepentantly on an interstate ramp in North Charleston in April. State officials had to close the ramp until the alligator could be moved.
In some cases, the encounters have been deadly.
The first week of May, a mother from Florida and two children were killed after their car hit an alligator on Interstate 95 just before 1 a.m. in Orangeburg County, S.C.