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Viral Video: Alligator chases golfers in Florida

Charlie, the Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station twelve foot one inch 600-pound alligator, June 24, 2013. (US Air Force/Released)
June 04, 2024

Two golfers in Ava Maria, Florida, had more than a day on the green when they encountered a cranky reptile that was not happy to have its basking interrupted.

Matt Devitt, chief meteorologist at WINK news, shared the viral video of the close encounter on X, formerly Twitter.

The video shows how a chance encounter nearly turned deadly as the golfers appear to not see the alligator. When their paths cross, the alligator responds with aggression, almost biting the driver of the golf cart.

While Florida has an estimated alligator population of around 1.3 million, attacks are rare. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has recorded roughly 450 attacks with nearly 30 fatalities since 1948.

Attacks are more common along the waters edge at dusk or dawn, as well as during the spring and early summer months, when alligators tend to move locations and lay eggs. Residents and visitors are advised to avoid any water banks during these times and to never disturb alligator eggs or hatchlings.

Despite their appearance, alligators are surprisingly fast and capable of running up to 20 miles per hour on land.

In 2023, Gloria Serge, 85, was tragically killed while walking her dog near a retention pond on the grounds of her assisted living facility in Fort Pierce, Florida.

READ MORE: Man runs over 11-foot alligator to save his neighbor

An 11-foot alligator, likely attracted by her pet, leaped from the water, grabbing her ankle and pulling her into the pond. While Florida does operate a nuisance alligator removal program, alligators tend to walk long distances between water sources as they search for food.

This migratory behavior makes it difficult to track the location of Florida’s alligators. Residents are advised to consider every body of water as potentially inhabited by an alligator.

For the most part, golfers and alligators have learned to live in harmony on Florida’s golf courses. Alligators are frequently encountered, as the expansive green and man-made ponds are attractive to the reptiles.