Man captures showdown between alligator and sandhill cranes

A Winter Springs man captured a standoff between an alligator and a trio of sandhill cranes on video.

The confrontation happened near a marina in Sanford. Wildlife experts say it doesn't surprise them at all that a sandhill crane would make a move against a gator.

The video shows the alligator facing-off with one of the large cranes. Suddenly the crane steps forward and moves aggressively toward the gator, which promptly turns its tail and hurries back across the street, with the crane following. Giovanni Badalamenti shot the video.

“Everyone's kind of at a standstill, a stare-down...I was like, 'What in the world is gonna happen now? I gotta see this!' Badalamenti recalled.

He and his dog were in the car watching the gator face-off against the cranes.

“It appears as though the mama crane says, 'you're not coming around my kids! Get back!'” Badalamenti said.

Wildlife experts we talked with said he may be right. They don't think the gator planned to have the cranes for lunch, it's their mating season, and they tend to wander from pond to pond. It's also the crane's hatching season, and the birds could be defending a nearby nest. Badalamenti says he knows how the cranes can get.

“Those cranes are pretty mean,” Badalamenti said, “I've been chased by a couple of them!”