By Rebecca Gibian / May 31, 2018

How One Photographer Captured a Close Crocodile Encounter

David Doubilet had to decide whether to intervene or take a picture.

An American Crocodile swims through the ocean off the coast of Cuba. (David Doubilet / Barcroft USA / Getty Images)

David Doubilet was scuba diving with his wife, Jennifer Hayes, in Gardens of the Queen National Park off the coast of Cuba. The couple — in both life and photography — had documented healthy reefs filled with fish, sharks, and crocodiles, so they went back 15 years later to see if anything had changed.

Hayes had her back to Doubilet when a giant American crocodile swam directly in between them. Doubilet made loud noises and fired a burst of flash-lit shots to let her know they were not alone. She turned around to find herself “face-to-snout” with an American crocodile. She says she didn’t feel threatened by this species at this time. She settled in to capture the moment, while her husband took a photograph of the experience.

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