You’ve never seen a golf hazard quite like this one, as a Palmetto, Florida, man posted some truly shocking video of an alligator roaming the Buffalo Creek Golf Course. Gators on golf courses are – ahem – par for the course in Florida, as we all know, but this Goliath gator would give just about anyone pause. It is truly massive, and the video proves it.
ABC Action News reported Monday on a video posted to Facebook by Charles Helms. Said video showed an alligator casually strolling along the links at Buffalo Creek. Looking at the gator, Helms is obviously stunned by the sheer size of the creature, calling it “the biggest alligator I’ve ever seen in my life.”
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 31, 2016
Helms estimated that the massive Florida gator must have been at least 15 feet long, and his golf buddies seemed equally shocked when Helms asked if they had ever seen an alligator that big. As seen in the video, the massive gator basically dwarfs the sand trap on the Florida golf course, even though it is farther into the background than said trap.
Helms, a Sarasota resident, initially didn’t even believe that the Goliath gator was real, thinking it might have been two people in an alligator suit. Because that’s a thing that happens.
“I didn’t know if we were being punked or something,” Helms told ABC Action News of his encounter with the massive gator. “It was just laying down, resting, when it got up and started moving towards the big lake.”
As seen in the video, Helms tells his friend – or, perhaps, enemy – Dave to “get next to” the huge alligator “for perspective.” Dave doesn’t fully oblige, but we can see that the gator still looks huge even when compared with Dave standing (wisely) far away in the foreground.
Is the big gator real? Well, it sure seems to be moving like a real alligator, and the video doesn’t show any obvious signs of tampering or editing, so it looks like there are really such huge beasties down there on the golf courses in Florida.
At an estimated 15 feet long, this Florida gator would be more than double the size of one recently caught in a field at a Dallas middle school a few days ago. So at least the gators aren’t necessarily bigger in Texas, it appears.
Game warden shares ‘most dangerous part’ of alligator capture near Dallas school https://t.co/piybT3sb44 pic.twitter.com/1jrt61zQ7F
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) May 25, 2016
Just how does an alligator get that big? Apparently, just by staying alive and eating. Gators like the one caught on tape down in Florida will just keep growing, so long as there’s a food source. The biggest gator on record was a male killed in 1890 on Marsh Island, Louisiana, measuring about 19 feet in length. Exact numbers are unavailable, but that alligator is estimated to have weighed about 2,200 pounds.
If you’re wondering how big this most recent Florida gator might be, look no further than an Alabama gator that set records a while back. The Daily Mail reported last year on the Stokes family, who captured a 15-foot, nine-inch gator in 2014. The gator, estimated to be between 24 and 28-years-old, weighed around 1,011.5 pounds.
And earlier this year, Fox 13 reported on some Florida hunters that snagged a 15-foot gator that had been eating their cattle. That gator? Well, the pictures tell the story.
Florida hunters nab nearly 15-foot gator that was snacking on their cattle – Story | FOX 13 Tampa Bay https://t.co/wsqW4xJkR2
— Mark Hennig (@Hennigracing) April 6, 2016
What would you do if you saw a modern-day dinosaur like this Florida gator just strolling along on the golf course? Would you play through? Let us know in the comments.
[Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images]