A 13-foot-long alligator washed ashore on a beach in Galveston Beach over the weekend. Photos of the large reptile quickly went viral after it was found on Jamaica Beach.
Timeiki Hedspeth and her family were celebrating Father’s Day when they spotted the huge gator. A crowd of people gathered around the huge alligator, which turned out to be dead, Click 2 Houston reports.
“When we see a crowd of people, being nosy people we walked down there, and that’s when we realized it’s an alligator,” Hedspeth said.
The gator measured about 13-feet-long. Hedspeth joked that maybe the alligator was “playing ‘possum.’ “
This was the second alligator spotted on a Galveston beach in two days. It still shocked beachgoers nonetheless.
It’s uncommon for alligators to emerge near salt water since their habitat is freshwater.
Texas wildlife workers explain that the alligator was most likely displaced from recent flooding. It appeared that the alligator made his way into the water to rinse off, but it’s not immediately clear how he died.
A lot of people posed with the alligator — with some even getting on his back.
People are urged by wildlife workers to avoid alligators and call the game warden if you see one, whether it’s dead or alive.
ABC News reports that another alligator was spotted on a Georgia beach near Savannah, near the south end of Tybee Island, last Friday afternoon. It was estimated to be about 8- to 10-feet-long. Game wardens relocated the reptile to the Savannah River, Tybee Island Fire Chief Ashely Fields, said.
It seems we really DON’T know what’s lurking in the water. 13-foot gator found dead on Jamaica Beach in Galveston. https://t.co/wKY8BwOW48
— NewsFix (@NewsFixHouston) June 21, 2016
Lifeguards on privately-owned boats ran patterns around the gator, directing him toward the shore. He was eventually reeled in, much to the relief of about 100 onlookers.
“It was a relief for everybody,” Fields. “People were very happy to get back in the water.”
Fields said the alligator was about 20-to-30-feet away from the beach. Beaches were temporarily closed, but have been reopened.
13ft alligator washed on shore in Jamaica Beach today… Not going swimming for awhile???? pic.twitter.com/JwbUdhdKSS
— sarah✨ (@sarahcaszatt) June 20, 2016
Like the Galveston alligator, it’s rare that these reptiles get close to a beach. Fields notes that it’s “a very rare occurrence.”
“He might have come out of the Savannah River channel is the only thing I could figure, but I wouldn’t bet money on that,” Fields said.
Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman said sometimes finding an alligator in the Atlantic happens. Gators in the South normally exist in freshwater like ponds, rivers, streams, and swamps, but the mayor said they will swim in saltwater to get from one place to another.
There are roughly 200,000 alligators in Georgia, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. The reptiles generally found south of the “fall line” — a line that connects the cities of Columbus, Macon and Augusta.
An alligator attack at Walt Disney World in Orlando last week resulted in the death of a 2-year-old boy from Nebraska. He was dragged from the shoreline at a Disney resort. Authorities are still trying to locate the gator that killed Lane Graves.
“Even if Disney World wouldn’t have happened, we still would have closed the beach just to be safe and take care of people,” Fields said.
Since the Disney alligator attack, people are even more interested in reading about others who encounter them unexpectedly. It’s unprecedented for a dead alligator to wash ashore on a beach like the one in Galveston, Texas. Anywhere alligators reside in the country, obviously it’s not a shock to see them wherever there’s a body of water.
[Image via Shutterstock]