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WATCH: Giant Alligator Spotted Wandering Florida Neighborhood

By Caitlin Berard,

(Photo by cturtletrax via Getty Images)

An upscale Florida neighborhood recently received an unexpected and terrifying visitor: a 10-foot alligator, the scaly giant meandering through the streets without giving the shocked bystanders a second glance.

WINK meteorologist Matt Devitt posted the startling footage to Instagram, showing the “big boy” making his way through the Forest Glen Golf & Country Club in Naples. Residents who ventured into the street to catch a glimpse of the Jurassic jaywalker can be heard in the background shouting, “My God!” and “It’s gigantic!” as the gator makes its slow way across a neighborhood street.

According to those on the scene, the animal emerged from a nearby river. The alligator then soaked in the attention of the resident humans as it strutted through the gated Florida community.

Florida is home to some 1.3 million alligators, the ancient predators inhabiting all 67 counties of the state. As a result, Floridians are no strangers to the occasional gator. Seeing a 10-foot beast wandering across the manicured lawns of your neighborhood, however, is a different experience entirely.

Following the sighting, Florida Fish and Wildlife reported that they sent officials to remove the alligator. They then transferred it to a new home without incident. Neither the gator nor any humans were harmed in the encounter.

Alligator Mating Season is on the Horizon in Florida

As alligator mating season is on the horizon, this likely won’t be the last such sighting for Florida residents. Alligator courtship typically begins in early April, with mating occurring between May and June.

During this stretch of time, alligator sightings are more common as the reptiles explore the many canals, swamps, and marshy areas in search of both prey and the perfect mate after a long winter’s rest.

Due to the early arrival of spring weather, gators started their mating rituals early this year. Male gators will lift their tails and slap the water to create vibrations. They then announce their presence with a low bellowing sound somewhere between a dinosaur’s roar and a boat motor.

Meanwhile, females begin building nests from mud, plants, and sticks. These nests will later house their eggs, which they keep close to the water’s edge, as the thicker vegetation provides protection from predators. Though adult alligators are apex predators, gator eggs and even younglings are susceptible to a wide range of predators.

In June and July, female alligators both in Florida and across the southeast will lay 30-70 eggs in their nests, after which the eggs will go through a 65-day incubation period. Of the dozens of eggs, however, only a few will survive.

The ones that do survive will cling closely to their mother’s side for the next two years. The mama alligator protects them from raccoons, bobcats, birds, and even others of the species, all of which would happily munch on a baby gator.

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