A horrifyingly large alligator wandered across a Florida golf course in the rain Wednesday in a surreal scene reminiscent of “Jurassic Park.”
Although alligators making appearances in unusual places isn’t exactly news in Florida, this one is making headlines for its frankly unbelievable size and casual gait across the green.
The prehistoric-looking beast was spotted at the Valencia Golf and Country Club in Naples, Florida.
“Yep, it’s real,” Tyler Stolting, the first assistant golf professional at the club, confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times. He said that while the club is used to alligators wandering the green and lounging near the water, he had never spotted one that size before. Although to be fair, it’s unlikely that many people have spotted an alligator of this size.
The record for largest gator ever captured in Florida was a 14-foot and 3.5-inch male from Lake Washington, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The heaviest gator ever captured weighed 1,043 pounds and stretched almost 14 feet long.
In a guide to gators, Key West Aquarium said that the animals “do not naturally regard humans as prey” and would not attack unless an individual was getting too close and pestering them. Observers should aim to stay at least 50 feet away from alligators.
The gargantuan gator was spotted around the golf course’s 17th tee, possibly finishing up his game before Tropical Storm Eta made impact in Florida.
Ahead of the storm’s landfall Thursday, central and northern Florida experienced two to six inches of rain, according to CNN. The storm hit around 4 a.m. Thursday morning about 130 miles south of Tampa and killed six people as it passed through the southeast coast.
The Tropical Storm has since moved offland and out to the Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service. Fairly clear skies and warm temperatures are expected in Florida over the weekend.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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