Three-Legged Alligator Mom Cares for Her Babies in Lakeland, Florida

A three-legged alligator mother was seen helping her babies at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, in footage released on September 6.

The footage, by Owen Lauer, shows the alligator limping towards her nest and scooping out one of her babies in her mouth before waddling away with it. Lauer said the alligator was carrying each of her hatchlings to the water’s edge.

Alligators are very maternal creatures, guarding eggs and protecting young for several months. This three-legged mom was no different.

Lauer said he hopes his video “can help encourage people to see a different side of the often misunderstood alligator.” Credit: Owen Lauer via Storyful

Video transcript

OWEN LAUER: She's missing an arm.

- Yep. I could hear them.

- Let's [INAUDIBLE].

OWEN LAUER: Am I in your way? Go ahead, go ahead. [INAUDIBLE]

[BIRDS CALLING]

- Oh my gosh. Can you see it?

- No, I don't want one sitting on the steps, so.

OWEN LAUER: Then we'll move it.

- [INAUDIBLE]

- Right here.

- Does she have a fish?

OWEN LAUER: Hmm?

- She have a fish?

OWEN LAUER: Nope, she's got a baby. That's so nice. She's coming right [INAUDIBLE]

- Go now?

OWEN LAUER: All right. Seriously.

- This is a good spot, too. It doesn't look like [INAUDIBLE]

OWEN LAUER: No, you're good.

- That one guy was laying down [INAUDIBLE]

OWEN LAUER: Really? The guy laying down here?

- Yeah.

OWEN LAUER: Yeah.

- He went through between the branches. He was laying right here.

- One of the babies was crying his head off earlier. Baby gator.

- I think--

OWEN LAUER: Think it's a bird?

- That's a moorhen.

- Oh, that's a moorhen. The baby gator's on her tongue.

[PEOPLE WHISPERING]

OWEN LAUER: How she does it without that front arm, she [INAUDIBLE]

- She's got three legs?

OWEN LAUER: Yeah, she's missing her leg [INAUDIBLE]

- [INAUDIBLE] lays down.

- Yeah.

OWEN LAUER: Oh, oh, oh, oh.