“Swamp Tour At Everglades Park” by Gregory Lecoeur
Gregory Lecoeur is from Nice in the heart of the French Riviera. He developed a lifelong passion for sea life and conservation of sharks and marine mammals. Utilizing a special waterproof casing and skilled editing techniques, he creates stunning images of marine life from all over the planet. He has photographed Sea Lions in the Sea of Cortez, Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas, Sunfish in the Pacific, Pilot Whales in the Mediterranean to name a few. Gregory reached out to Sawgrass Recreation Park at the end of March to plan an evening in the Everglades for a Swamp Tour while he was filming in Florida. The rest of the story is rather amazing.
The General Manager and Animal Specialist at Sawgrass Recreation Park, Gator Tim Schwartzman met up with Gregory the night of March 24th for his photo shoot. Here is what Tim said about the experience. “I took Greg out on a really crummy night, it was cool and rainy. We started off without seeing any signs of any kind if wildlife. Just as soon as the last bit of light was leaving us we started to see gators everywhere. The temperature was cool, but the water was rather warm. The rain had stopped and we started getting some really neat shots. We found a gator during the night time Swamp Tour with what looked to be a fish in his mouth. As it turned out this five foot gator had been in a scuffle with a larger gator and its jaw was split in two. The injuries don’t look to be very recent and the gator looked to be in otherwise decent shape. This is an example of an alligator’s resilience and ability to survive.”
“I spent about 20 minutes trying to reposition the airboat in clear water. I made some baby gator calls to get it to approach Greg’s camera and he snapped these awesome shots.”- Tim Schwartzman
“We located a few smaller alligators and caught some incredible shots of an alligator below the water with his nictitating membrane closed (white lens cap).” Tim Schwartzman
“We decided that I would enter the habitat with our largest captive alligator, Cannibal. I am familiar with his reactions so it made it easier for Greg to remote control the camera as I held it in place. Lucky for us, Cannibal was very cooperative that night!” – Tim Schwartzman
“We spent quite a bit of time working with our baby alligators to get some underwater shots. Their skin is so perfect and they are such fantastic miniatures of our big guys. The one alligator we photographed is missing a tail. Tyrion was actually born missing his tail but has proven to be a strong swimmer in spite of his missing appendage.”
Gregory stated, “Thank you so much for the great airboat tour, it was an amazing time!”