A gigantic alligator that totaled almost ten feet long was found wandering near an elementary school in Florida.
According to a Twitter user who posted a video of the prehistoric beast being wrangled away from the school, the alligator made its way onto the St. Clair Evans Elementary campus in Jacksonville. Police and Florida Wildlife Control teamed up to get the animal away from the campus.
Action News Jax spoke to wildlife specialist Astin Hunt, who offered some insight into the dangers that gators can pose in an urban setting, saying, “There is not a human on earth that can outrun a gator in the first 10 yards.” He added that “They got a fast switch so yeah, they’re explosive. As they leave water and grab prey that’s the kill zone, so if you are far enough away it should be no issue at all, they have no interest pursuing you on land.”
Hunt added that although gators primarily hunt on river banks, it is not impossible that one may attack in an urban setting, like a school. The FWC issued a statement about this alligator, which Action News Jax shared:
While this gator chose to visit the campus on a Sunday when no people were present, we do want to ensure the students are safe. All wildlife issues are handled on a case-by-case basis. In this case, facilities staff will survey the perimeter of the campus to determine where the alligator may have entered. They will take preventative measures as appropriate.
This is far from the first time that an alligator has been found wandering somewhere that it shouldn’t. In March, The American Tribune wrote about another instance of a dangerous encounter in an urban environment with one of the toughest predators in America:
A North Carolina man just became the poster boy for home inspections after finding an eight-foot alligator in the attic of a house he was inspecting. The code enforcement official stumbled upon the giant while checking a home construction site and says that he nearly stepped on the prehistoric creature’s head by mistake.
Dean Brown, who found the gator, said he initially thought he was being pranked. Then, he quickly realized that this was a real sleeping gator, and he proceeded to tell the construction crew about the uninvited guest. Brown told Fox 35 Orlando:
“I thought it was a stuffed animal that someone threw up there as a joke. So I just went about my inspection.”
According to PopSci, there are some practices that can help people remain safe when they are in regions that contain Alligator:
“If you do see one (or several), keep your distance—at least 15 to 30 feet. While alligators aren’t typically aggressive, they will protect themselves or their nests if they feel threatened. Alligators can be active year-round, especially during warmer summer months and between dusk and dawn when they do most of their hunting, but you should be extra wary in June during nesting season when they will be protecting their eggs, and in the spring when mating season begins.”
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