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If you’re in Florida, there’s a good chance that you’ll see a gator. A massive alligator walked through this particular neighborhood like he owned the place. But we’re guessing he’s not exactly paying HOA dues. Instead, he sauntered across the front yard and scoped out the best places to lounge and relax in this quiet Florida residential area.
A deputy with the Sarasota County sheriff’s office shot the video in Venice, Florida. The clip begins with the alligator walking casually through the grassy area in front of a house. Getting tired after a few steps, he decides to lie down and take a quick rest before continuing. The video adds additional commentary, speaking for the alligator. “I’m tired,” he narrates. “I think I’ll take a break.” Getting to the concrete driveway, the gator lies down again, possibly to take advantage of the cool surface.
The deputies had warned residents to keep their distance. While alligators are a common occurrence in Florida and most people know to leave them alone, this was a particularly large animal. Alligators are known to go after pets and even small children. While attacks on people are rare, there is a larger risk when an alligator isn’t given space. If he felt threatened, who knows what this large alligator would be capable of doing?
Fortunately, he ends up at the neighborhood lake without incident. The animal goes into Harrington Lake for a quick swim. Alligators like to be in and around the water, making them a common sight in neighborhood lakes and pools. They can be hard to spot sometimes, however. It’s important to always scan for these animals lurking just below the surface and closely supervise anyone who is playing or relaxing near the water.
Where Do Alligators Live?
Florida has one of the largest populations of American alligators in the United States. They tend to live in marshes, swamps, and other areas with access to water and land. In residential areas, alligators are found in pools, lakes, streams, and rivers. They prefer freshwater but can also live in brackish water. Conservative estimates put the Florida alligator population well over 1 million in the entire state.
They can get up to 800 pounds and move lightning fast, especially for such a large and lumbering animal. When going after potential prey, alligators move as fast as 15 miles per hour. They often move rapidly and in short bursts, surging forward to snatch their prey before dragging it below the surface of the water.
Is It Normal to Witness Alligators Walking Around in Neighborhoods in Florida?
A good source for finding out answers to questions such as how often alligators encroach into suburban areas is to ask the locals! One person on Quora asked such a question, and had multiple Floridians respond. One revealed that it isn’t uncommon, but at the same time “not a daily occurrence” to see alligators gallivanting about. This commenter, who lives near the Everglades, shared that he had two alligators inhabiting a lake behind his house for over a year but still had not seen them himself.
Another Floridian shared that they are most visible in spring when they will venture out, moving “from pond to pond looking for mates. I saw a gator today maybe 3ft long. We had a big rain yesterday–he’s hiding in the drainage pipe under my neighbor’s driveway.” This same person also testified to seeing 6 and 7-foot-long alligators at a local golf course, as well as spying some near a local grocery store.
The fact is, it’s possible to see alligators walking in residential areas, but it’s not common, so if you do spy one, crank out the iPhone and shoot a video like the deputy above did!
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