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Alligator steals DSLR, kindly returns it eight months later

By dpreview staff on Aug 25, 2013 at 08:11 GMT

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 taken by Mario Aldecoa's Canon DSLR before it was snatched by am alligator.

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.

Via: Imaging Resource, Source: GrindTV

Comments

Total comments: 88
12
JonathanFV
By JonathanFV (8 months ago)

That's a very cool last picture! :)

0 upvotes
BBZone28
By BBZone28 (8 months ago)

The strength and durability of the camera strap is another thing this camera could advertize... 8 months in the swamp on a gator's foot and still holding!!!

2 upvotes
lmtfa
By lmtfa (8 months ago)

As a former Floridian all I can say is go Gators.

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (8 months ago)

well, if it was a pentax he could still sell it as an BGN on KEH.

0 upvotes
budi0251
By budi0251 (8 months ago)

", which he took right before everything was snatched out of his hands"

which he is very lucky instead of his hands get "snatched" :)

Anyway, does the gator just fine? how about battery/capacitor poisoning, shock from flash capacitor discharge, lubricants & paints, even some peeling from the lens coating?

0 upvotes
PhotoPhart
By PhotoPhart (8 months ago)

Obviously not every alligator knows how to shoot a Canon

4 upvotes
jkoch2
By jkoch2 (8 months ago)

Aldecoa took risks. But, when the gator lunged, he had the presence of mind not to leap into the muck and wrestle the Canon out of the beast's jaws. Think, though, of the photo op that would have been to others. The original "Wilhelm Scream" was based on a gator encounter, and you hear it every time someone sees their camera being destroyed.

0 upvotes
dual12
By dual12 (8 months ago)

Even alligators prefer sensors made by other manufacturers.

1 upvote
photosen
By photosen (8 months ago)

Lesson: Don't flash the gators...

3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (8 months ago)

"Aldecoa waded into the swamp the next morning, just hoping to find his tripod, but everything was gone...."

He waded into an alligator infected swamp? I guess he loves his camera a lot more than I like mine.

4 upvotes
CIASpook
By CIASpook (8 months ago)

Are all those "catch lights" from gators? oooh wow...no thank you! haha!

0 upvotes
rsenk19
By rsenk19 (8 months ago)

I heard Canon marketing folks are in discussion
with those gators for the next round of benchmark
tests.....

1 upvote
Red Swan
By Red Swan (8 months ago)

I was hoping for photos like these, but yeah

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011051/Black-macaque-takes-self-portrait-Monkey-borrows-photographers-camera.html

2 upvotes
agusmth
By agusmth (8 months ago)

The gator maybe want to take a picture for update profile on Facebook :-)

1 upvote
London chris
By London chris (8 months ago)

I think the most amazing bit of the story is that after taking the snap and all that happened " Aldecoa waded into the swamp the next morning, just hoping to find his tripod " Get real man !!

1 upvote
Langusta
By Langusta (8 months ago)

Who would have thought, there are fanboys among gators...

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

A Gator who stole a Canon camera, Lord, forgive him, he didn't know what he do.

5 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (8 months ago)

Poor widdw alligator :( Now try that with a 28' Aussie saltwater croc and I'll be impressed.

1 upvote
Mike921
By Mike921 (8 months ago)

Oh yes, those salties are soooooooo terrible, run everybody, run!

0 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (8 months ago)

ever been bit by a medium size alligator? Didn't think so...

0 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (8 months ago)

Ahh Mike. Another Canon DSLR shooter, check. American that drives a large truck, check. Oh dear...

1 upvote
Benarm
By Benarm (8 months ago)

even alligators cannot stand the subpar dynamic range of Canons :P

8 upvotes
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (8 months ago)

If he'd have used an Olympus E3, it would still be in perfect working order.

8 upvotes
Franko74
By Franko74 (8 months ago)

same applies to Nikon, it would have been in perfect conditions :)

1 upvote
tommy leong
By tommy leong (8 months ago)

the crocs didn't like him using the flash on them

1 upvote
jpeterg
By jpeterg (8 months ago)

Still good enough for ebay.

15 upvotes
Alec
By Alec (8 months ago)

Mint-
Light signs of use by gators

4 upvotes
Mohammad AlLawati
By Mohammad AlLawati (8 months ago)

Could anyone please put the link so we can bid on it... XD

0 upvotes
Ed_arizona
By Ed_arizona (8 months ago)

The alligator tasted a Canon and barfed

9 upvotes
EvokeEmotion
By EvokeEmotion (8 months ago)

A Nikon guy saying this. Of course.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

I was going to make a jokey post like this at the expense of fanboys. I did not think anyone would be dumb enough to do it for real.

3 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (8 months ago)

It's too plasticky I bet. hahahaha

2 upvotes
TOR8472
By TOR8472 (8 months ago)

why is the camera strap muddy along with where it connects the the camera, but clean on the strap where it says Canon (which is so clearly positioned it doesn't look like an accident)? Not saying this is a disguised advertisment for Canon, but that looks very strange to me. I'd have wiped the body and lens off before the logo strap it is was my gear.

5 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

Good point! Even the mood of Florida swamp can't stain the Canon name!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (8 months ago)

If it had bee a Nikon it would have worked perfectly. It would have cleaned itself, too.

1 upvote
batholith
By batholith (8 months ago)

Not only that, the alligator would have been enticed to take some photographs as well. Oh no wait it would need to be a Fuji for that (updated firmware, of course).

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

Nikon would poison the gator with the splashes of oil. :)

0 upvotes
minzaw
By minzaw (8 months ago)

U r lucky that alligator took only camera not the person behind the camera!
They are deadly dangerous
Be cautious all the time in swamps

2 upvotes
Frank_BR
By Frank_BR (8 months ago)

That alligator was very lucky for not having attacked a DSLR with a 600/ 4 or an 800/5.6 lens attached. Had it had, the alligator would be trapped forever in the bottom of the swamp by the photographic anchor.

4 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (8 months ago)

Don't call an alligator a 'croc." It won't like it.

5 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (8 months ago)

Had the alligator read Dpreview's verdict before it chose Canon and will it write in the forums too having used the camera?

4 upvotes
mailman88
By mailman88 (8 months ago)

Locals say... the alligator was hired by Nikon, to attack Canon owners.

10 upvotes
Tan68
By Tan68 (8 months ago)

The alligator was going incognito. What better way to lure victims than to slide up and ask the tourist to take a picture of him with his buddies. What alligator with a camera has ill intentions. That's never part of a scam...

'Gator is the colloquial abbreviation of Alligator.

1 upvote
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (8 months ago)

I once had an SD card go through my washer and dryer. Don't remember which brand... because it continued to work reliably enough that it's just part of my SD card pool again. Maybe Mario should run his camera through the washer and dryer before selling it as "clean, untested" on eBay? ;-)

1 upvote
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (8 months ago)

I accidentally put an SD card through a washing machine too, I can remember the brand though. Zanussi.

7 upvotes
RichardBalonglong
By RichardBalonglong (8 months ago)

The alligators in the photo are like "You came to the wrong neighborhood mother****er!"...

8 upvotes
offshore13
By offshore13 (8 months ago)

looks like a 60D....good thing it wasn't his hands

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (8 months ago)

It looks like a Canon 5D MkII with the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L MkII. I am sure Canon would be interested to buy it for their testimonial advertisement.

The memory card would then be a CF card. I am surprise it manage to survive the acid in the stomach. Interesting! Wonder what brand it is.

0 upvotes
muyu
By muyu (8 months ago)

I think it is a 60D so SDHC card it is... can be seen if you look closely and also from the mode dial lock release.

1 upvote
Andy Turner
By Andy Turner (8 months ago)

The story doesn't say that the alligator ate the camera. I'd be surprised if it did.

3 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (8 months ago)

Alligators and Crocodiles can, and do, eat about anything they can fit in their mouth. You are right though, might have just been knocked over into the mud, but I wouldn't be surprised if the gator ate it.

0 upvotes
starchase
By starchase (8 months ago)

The article states, "Wrapped around the foot of one of the gators was Aldecoa's digital SLR."

0 upvotes
EvokeEmotion
By EvokeEmotion (8 months ago)

No, it has an internal flash housing, so it couldn't be the 5D2. And of course, it actually says 60D on the camera if you look closely.

0 upvotes
CortoPA
By CortoPA (8 months ago)

That would make a nice conversation piece!

On a lighter note, what modern dslr could still power up after all that?

Maybe a Pentax K-5?

Who knows......

2 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (8 months ago)

Maybe an Olympus E3. Those things are unbelievably tough.

0 upvotes
Lanski
By Lanski (8 months ago)

Apparently Mario was seen successfully fighting off 2 more alligators by dropping his cast iron balls on them.

9 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (8 months ago)

The camera looks somewhat crusty to me. Might still do well on EvilBay, though. Only a few clicks on the shutter by a 2nd owner who didn't use it much. "Some marks on the coatings but surely it won't affect the pictures".

3 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (8 months ago)

Its a 60D

2 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (8 months ago)

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.

0 upvotes
DaytonR
By DaytonR (8 months ago)

Interesting stuff ! Late last year I used the exact same memory card for some shoots and its one of the slowest class 10 SDHC cards I have ever used :)

0 upvotes
AarSee
By AarSee (8 months ago)

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

1 upvote
DanielFjall
By DanielFjall (8 months ago)

All the SanDisk SD cards are waterproof.

4 upvotes
fz750
By fz750 (8 months ago)

for 72 hours..

:-)

0 upvotes
ArchiDeos
By ArchiDeos (8 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
birdbrain
By birdbrain (8 months ago)

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. :-D

3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (8 months ago)

Ever had a Timex? It's about the same lie as if you believe that OMO washes more white than white. I had a Timex, I know

0 upvotes
souravtito
By souravtito (8 months ago)

May be the alligator wanted to be a photographer. Aldecoa should train him.

0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (8 months ago)

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

4 upvotes
deleted-13120401
By deleted-13120401 (8 months ago)

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

12 upvotes
chewdoggydog
By chewdoggydog (8 months ago)

probably the most awesome thing i have ever seen.....lol. that picture is great!!!

0 upvotes
Feud
By Feud (8 months ago)

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

4 upvotes
stany buyle
By stany buyle (8 months ago)

Imagine that you buy that camera on a second hand website... :)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 88
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