Florida’s golf courses are notorious for their alligators. The state has a well-recorded history of big gators hanging out on fairways or in the ruff, like this giant that prowled the Buffalo Creek Golf Club in 2016. But the gator recently caught on film walking the tightly mown grounds of a course south of Fort Myers wasn’t just a giant—it was a three-footed giant. And you don’t see that around every tee box.
The footage was shared on Facebook by Matt Devitt, a meteorologist in southwest Florida for WINK News. “Check out this big boy walking across a Bonita Bay golf course this past weekend from a WINK viewer,” wrote Devitt in the video description. “Welcome to Jurassic Park!”
The gator seems quite comfortable on the move, despite the missing appendage. And the big brute seemed generally oblivious to the men and women wearing khakis and visors and carrying those metal clubs that they whack little white balls with and call it a “sport.” As for the golfers in the background of the video, they don’t even seem to stop to look at the big gator. After all, gators are a common sight in the Sunshine State.
Florida is home to approximately 1.3 million gators, which are spread throughout all 67 counties in the state, according to the Florida Fish Wildlife and Conservation Commission (FWC). The state’s gator population is considered to be stable but the area has experienced a rapid increase in human population growth—leading to more and more encounters with gators. Though conflicts between humans and gators are rare, they do occur. The FWC encourages residents and visitors to practice caution and manages a dedicated “Living With Alligators” page that provides best practices for living and recreating in gator country.