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 wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I'm currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website displays "Creation Speaks", a teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation, "Nature Notes", a wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty and design of God’s creation, and "Waltonpets Furtography Blog", my animal shelter dog rescue photography blog. -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations." Psalms 104, The Message.

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