Alligators and crocodiles are not an unusual sight in Florida, but seeing one this big is certainly strange. This massive alligator was seen wandering through a Naples golf course, shocking many of the nearby residents.
The spotting took place at Valencia Golf and Country Club, and numerous bystanders posted videos of the encounter online. At first, when an image began to go viral online, many commenters believed that it was photoshopped, but then a video was later posted to confirm that the encounter actually happened.
"When they get out of the water you can really see how impressive their size is" 🐊
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 14, 2020
“Gator Girl” Christy Kroboth told CNBC that she thinks the massive alligator was “real.”
“I’ve seen huge gators, the biggest one I ever caught was 12.5 feet, and that’s enormous, they’re huge, they’re out there,” said Kroboth
“When we had Hurricane Harvey, the water rose and it pushed alligators everywhere. It’s also getting close to the alligator’s hibernation season, so he could be looking for a den to hunker down in for the winter season,” Kroboth added.
Other experts have said that there’s nothing abnormal about the size of the gator.
“Not very many people get to see alligators high walk,” John Brueggen, director at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, told Huffington Post in an email. “But there is nothing abnormal about this alligator.”
HOLY GATOR🐊: take a look at this massive gator walking through Valencia Golf Course in Naples. He looks like he belongs in Jurassic park!
📸: Tyler Stolting pic.twitter.com/skr3Du9EBQ
— Nicolette Perdomo (@NickiPerdomo) November 12, 2020
It is estimated that about 1.3 million alligators live in Florida.
Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet in length, but males can grow much larger. The Florida state record for length is a 14 foot 3-1/2 inch male from Lake Washington in Brevard County. The Florida record for weight is a 1,043 pound (13 feet 10-1/2 inches long) male from Orange Lake in Alachua County.
Alligator attacks are actually extremely rare, even in Florida.
Florida alligator bite statistics date back to 1948, ranging around three major bites per year. The chance of someone being attacked is one in 3.2 million. The worst years for fatalities were 2001 and 2006, with three people dying each of those years from Florida alligator attacks. And there have only been 23 fatalities between 1948 and 2016. There have even been stretches during which no fatal attacks by alligators occurred in Florida.