Spotting an alligator in Florida isn't a huge deal, since they're lurking in bodies of water all over the place there. However, residents of one community were nonetheless startled to discover a monster gator strutting its stuff through the streets recently, halting traffic, and causing a commotion.
The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida has long been home to one particularly huge gator affectionately named Larry, who typically keeps to himself and doesn't bother anyone. But earlier this week, Larry must have felt a bit adventurous, because he made his way into a nearby golf cart path, creating quite the scene, and stunning passersby who were trying to drive through the area.
"I was first scared out of my pants because he was so large. And at first I didn't believe what I was seeing. I mean, it was like looking at a prehistoric monster." resident Marc Cher told local NBC affiliate WBTV in an interview. "And I had one foot on my accelerator on my golf cart in case he made a move."
Larry, who's been living at The Villages for years, has become somewhat of a local celebrity, and residents are accustomed to seeing him from time to time, sunbathing on the edges of the water. He's such a fixture that there's even a plaque in his honor and he has his own official Facebook page. He doesn't typically wander far from his perch, which is why him hanging in the road got so much attention. Perhaps he was just looking for a pal to play golf with?
In a video someone captured of him crossing (shown above), the 12-foot beast moves pretty slowly, but that doesn't mean he isn't capable of running much faster. He may be fun to look at, but residents know the rules not to mess with him or feed him, and to keep their pets away.
Larry, who's generally peaceful and respected by the folks who live there, eventually made his way back to his usual hangout after his big day out without incident.