Alligator steals DSLR, kindly returns it eight months later

During a holiday party at the Everglades Alligator Farm last year, employee and budding wildlife photographer Mario Aldecoa was setting up his camera to capture the glowing eyes of the local residents. It wasn’t long after he mounted his Canon DSLR to a tripod when, in a flash, one of the gators grabbed the whole thing as if it was lunch. Aldecoa waded into the swamp the next morning, just hoping to find his tripod, but everything was gone.

Eight months later, farm employees were feeding the alligators when they noticed something peculiar. Wrapped around the foot of one of the gators was Aldecoa’s digital SLR.

Look what the alligator dragged in. Photo credit: Mario Aldecoa

The camera wasn’t in the best of shape, as you can see above, but he was able to pry the memory card out of its compartment. Much to Aldecoa’s surprise, the photos on the card had survived, including the one below, which he took right before everything was snatched out of his hands.

This was the last photo ever taken by Mario Aldecoa’s Canon DSLR

It’s safe to say that memory cards aren’t designed to spend eight months in a Florida swamp, but somehow this one survived (Aldecoa hasn’t disclosed the manufacturer). Aldecoa has since replaced his camera and is back taking alligator pictures again – with a lot more caution.

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Forget the LX Series Patriot-SDHC 8gb class 10. Material is dissolving! How can company for good-quality pc-RAM offer such cr…p? It starts with the black label where one cannot write on. The is true for my second piece. I was using them for 3dstereo on two cams. on the first the lock-level went KAPUTT.


That camera should sell quickly on e-bay. In like new condition, minty! 😉 Great story!


All the SanDisk SD cards are waterproof.


Wow lucky for you Bro… Be careful next time.. Try to use longer lens to avoid such accident.. Cheers…


Does anyone remember the old Timex adverts where they did various stunts to show how durable the Timex watch was? Perhaps the memory card manufacturer should consider doing something like that. 😀


never mind that, those gators are in f#&*ing formation!


I assume after being with an alligator for eight months that card would have a few decent snaps!


Well, thank God it wasn’t his hand!
Kudos, Mario!!! That’s what I call a long exposure!!!

stany buyle

Imagine that you buy that camera on a second hand website… 🙂


Don’t you love a happy ending? «All is well when it ends well».
Now, the truth is – the gator only return the camera because he was a Nikon fanboy. He barfed it when he noticed it didn’t taste like a Nikon.


If that camera and lens (…and their correspondent sensor type+ FOV + max FL…) took that last photo I guess he should be very happy the gear was all the beast snatched away.

I have this feeling this won’t be the last time we will be hearing from Mario in the news…


“”which he took right before everything was snatched out of his hands.””

He took the photo then the gator snatched it, written very clearly. The gator probably didn’t like the taste and just spit it out. the strap then was stuck to the leg for a while, didn’t mentioned any additional photos were taken by the gator.


Err…neither did I…


Get out of town… if you don’t want to disclose the manufacturer of the card than the whole thing is pointless, the picture is nothing to write home about.

Roland Karlsson

SD cards are very tough. They are small and hard and well sealed. So, it was not a surprise that it survived. And … its survival probably has nothing to do with brand. And … you are not likely to have any use of the fact that it can survive 8 months in a swamp. So … knowing the brand is only useless trivia.


Besides, the card’s having survived could have to do with being closed and maybe shielded in the camera body.


Perhaps he is working out an endorsement deal before revealing the card’s manufacturer.


Or perhaps he didn’t want to be accused of already having made a deal with the manufacturer. There are always a lot of sceptics, who would think that this whole story was just an advertisement in disguise.

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