TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A golfer was stopped dead in his tracks when a dinosaur-like gator made an appearance at a course in Sebring earlier this month.
Rich Louty was playing a game at the Spring Lake Club when he encountered the monster gator and took a photo.
WFLA asked Louty for an estimation of the gator’s size. He said he didn’t want to get too close to the reptile, but guessed it was no less than 10 feet long.
“She’s a big one. The locals know she’s a mama gator because they’ve seen her babies over the years,” Louty told WFLA. “The guys in the cart shop will steer her toward the water if they have to but they rarely do that. Everybody does their best to leave her be.”
“Welcome to Florida, home to Jurassic Park,” wrote WINK Chief Meteorologist Matt Devitt, who shared the photo on Facebook.
“I have lived in Florida all my life. That is the biggest one I have seen,” one person commented.
It’s not unusual to see alligators on Florida golf courses. The reptiles are often drawn to the their ponds, lakes and other water hazards.
As temperatures rise, so do the chances of seeing gators in public. The animals are most active during their courtship process, which begins in early April, and during the official mating season, which occurs in the months of May and June.