VIDEO: See what these workers found hatching in western Palm Beach County

A field crew working for the South Florida Water Management District stumbled across an amazing find recently.

While videos of sea turtle hatchlings scurrying toward the breaking waves of the Atlantic abound on the Internet, there’s fewer impromptu run-ins with alligator hatchlings.

These babies were still emerging from their eggs when they were found in stormwater treatment area (STA) 3/4. The STA in western Palm Beach County is the largest constructed wetland in the world.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, baby alligators are about 6 to 8 inches long when they hatch and live in small groups that are protected by mother gators.¬†¬†Some 80 percent of young alligators fall victim to predators such as birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and larger alligators.

There are five contained stormwater treatment areas south of Lake Okeechobee that are filled with non-native plants to eat up excess nutrients in water from agriculture runoff and, in some cases, runoff from urban areas. After the water is cleaned, it can be sent south into the Everglades.

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