Giant alligators may not be an uncommon site in the marshy state of Florida, but one gigantic beast strolling the grounds of the Valencia Golf & Country Club in Naples is catching all of the attention on social media. Drawing comparisons to a dinosaur, with some doubting the validity of it due to its massive size, the enormous gator was spotted on Wednesday, with photos and videos of the animal quickly making their way to social media.
Among the first to draw attention to the best was WINK News meteorologist Matt Devitt, who took to Twitter to share some truly impressive and jaw-dropping images of the creature. In the photos, the animal can be seen standing several inches off the ground as it takes a leisurely walk on the green. Devitt confirmed, "yep, this monster is real."
As one social media user pointed out, the gnarly beast may in fact be a crocodile rather than an alligator. That Twitter user, responding to Devitt’s post, pointed out that "crocs can get much bigger than gators and have a pointy snout. Gators have a rounded snout." The user also noted that the Florida Everglades are a very unique place, as it is "the only habitat in the world where you can find both crocs and gators."
Regardless of its exact identity, the monster prowling the grounds of the golf course became a topic of major conversation on Twitter. As social media users laid their eyes on the enormous reptile, they couldn't help but comment, many expressing their fear while others could do little more than react in shock. Keep scrolling to see what people are saying.
Have you SEEN THIS?? it’s real, very real, it’s an “ALLIGATOR” this is in Florida, apparently frozen iguanas fall out of the trees too in Miami when it gets “cold”. I’m so happy all I have to deal with in England is audacious pigeons man, I’d actually just run home screaming 😭 pic.twitter.com/gYrSRaaeJJ— Winnie 🇬🇧 🇳🇬 (@MissWinz) November 12, 2020
We sure this wasnt just a SyFy movie? Super gator 2? Or Crocnado?— Brimos the McTitan (@Bry09212) November 13, 2020
The reptile was spotted by Tyler Stolting, the first assistant golf professional at the club. The beast was perusing the grounds of the course on Wednesday, as Tropical Storm Eta brought gale-force winds and threatening storm surges about 60 miles west-northwest of Tampa, according to NBC News.prevnext
whoeevr lives in florida, good luck with that alligator😳— kiki 生 ✜ ⧖ ⁷ ♡’s HELEN+ALEXIS (@SANNIEFAIRYY) November 12, 2020
when i say florida gotta GO WHAT IS THIS JURASSIC PARK LOOKIN ALLIGATOR pic.twitter.com/FaRhC3iHlc— ✪𝑀𝑜𝓂𝑜 𝐿𝑜𝒸𝓀𝒹𝑜𝓌𝓃✪⁷ (@YOONGIDI0R) November 12, 2020
Speaking to the New York Post, Stolting, who recorded video of the alligator, admitted that he was "a little in shock" when he spotted it roaming the golf course. Stolting added, "it was pretty big, biggest one I've ever seen!"prevnext
I still can't understand why people want to live in Florida. We don't have them critters up here in Michigan.— Sr. Dorcee ن (@SrDorcee) November 12, 2020
Although some on social media questioned the authenticity of the creatures capture in the video, doubting that an alligator could really grow to that size, both Stolting and his co-worker, Jeff Jones, insisted it was 100% real. According to Jones, those living along the golf course had even spotted the gator in the past.prevnext
No matter how big he is. He really knows how to mind his business— nanasagaly (@nanasagaly) November 12, 2020
Wow. I’ve seen some large ones on my golf course in Miami, but this one is humongous!!!!!!— Leigh34UF (@Leigh29UF) November 13, 2020
David Sheen, the reptile and amphibian research leader of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, confirmed on Twitter that there was "nothing unusual" about the gato'’s size. In a tweet, Sheen "it's an iconic species and conservation success story. But in short, there's nothing unusual about this alligator or the video."prevnext
That tail alone looks like it could eat someone!— Katherine van Nierop (@KatherineNierop) November 13, 2020
I wondered why Godzilla was so late to 2020! https://t.co/18ZYJdQIBm— Nate Sibley (@NateSibley) November 13, 2020
"It's been a while since I've seen one that big, I was a little shocked," Jones said. "I've been here a long time and I'm not surprised to see it walking across the golf course, I am a little surprised at how big it was."prevnext
That is Godzilla yall.— The Brown Recluse (@cbenjamin313) November 13, 2020
Thats not no alligator that’s a Dinosaur— Stacy (@anyaloaiza) November 13, 2020
Although the gator surely looks menacing, Jones assured the Post that those hitting the green have little to worry about. He told the outlet, "as long as nobody's feeding him, they'll be fine."prevnext
Can’t stop thinking about this absolute unit alligator in Florida pic.twitter.com/04xOdjNoYV— gnarly rae jepsen (@lizmaebrooks) November 13, 2020
That isn't a gator... that is a freaking dinosaur 😧 https://t.co/T2UpFnWvym— MJVentrice (@MJVentrice) November 12, 2020
Of course, this is far from the first massive reptile to shock social media. Back in April of 2019, a 10-foot-long, 400-pound gator was caught on video walking through the Long Cove Club in Hilton Head. In 2017, American golfer Cody Gribble even nudged a sleeping gator off of the fairway and into the water during the opening day of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Dallas, Texas.prev