Meanwhile, A Raccoon Rides An Alligator In Florida

The strange interaction only lasted a moment, according to Jones, before the raccoon dashed back into the woods.

A Florida man managed to capture a picture over the weekend that could seemingly have only come from the Sunshine State: a raccoon riding atop an alligator.

Richard Jones, of Palatka, was walking with his family in the Ocala National Forest in central Florida when they encountered what appears to be the world’s bravest raccoon, according to WFTV. While watching alligators in the Oaklawaha River, Jones’ son walked through a stand of palm fronds to get a picture of one of the predators, and ended up startling the raccoon.

What transpired next was seemingly surreal, and has already been described by Jones as the “photo of a lifetime.” The raccoon, frightened by his son’s actions, stumbled towards the water in an attempt to escape, ending up on the back of a nearby alligator. The elder Jones was able to take a picture of the raccoon as it stood atop the predator, a pose that only lasted a brief moment, according to ABC News.

“I snapped a lucky picture right when the gator slipped into the water and before the raccoon jumped off and scurried away. Without the context you’d think the raccoon was hitching a ride across the river. Pretty amazing,” Jones observed.

The image of the raccoon and its alligator escape partner quickly spread online, as observers were struck by its unusual nature. Last April, a similarly strange photo of two Florida predators was also captured, before going viral online. As the Inquisitr previously reported, that image depicted a bobcat walking out of the surf on a Florida beach, having successfully attacked a small shark. Though the photo garnered suspicion from some observers, it eventually proved to be quite real.

Earlier this year, a man from England captured a photo of a baby weasel riding on the back of a green woodpecker, leading to a plethora of Photoshopped images as the picture spread online. That interaction proved far less benign than the alligator-riding raccoon, however, as the woodpecker was likely fighting for its life.

Though Jones’ image inspired reactions of surprise and tongue-in-cheek concern for the future of humanity amid a terrifying animal kingdom team-up, we humans apparently have little to fear. After just a moment, the raccoon scurried off the alligator and back on land, leaving Jones marveling at the utterly unique encounter.

[Photo by Richard Jones via WFTV]