An Old Friend Okefenokee Alligator

Big Alligator with a missing foot and battle scar on face laying on a log in Minnie`s Lake, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 2020. Large male alligators will battle for territory and breeding rights. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from

Unless they are tagged or have some unique scars, American Alligators are quite hard to tell apart. I’m sure there are subtle differences in size and features that could be identified if one spent some time comparing photographs. But for the most part, I can only suspect some of the alligators I’ve encountered multiple Okefenokee trips are the same as on prior adventures. But when one is recognized, it feels like meeting an old friend!

On our 2020 Okefenokee trip, we came across one of those old friends that I know we have seen before. As soon as I saw it, I immediately remembered the amputated foot and missing lip. Upon returning home I found the  blog called Gator Battles about this uniquely scarred gator we spotted in March 2019. In fact, looking at the one-year-old photo, I think it may even be perched on the same log!

iNaturalist observation:

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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