It’s not uncommon for
Florida beachgoers to spot an occasional shark or dolphin, but it’s not every
day an alligator floats by as swimmers play in the Atlantic Ocean’s surf.
That’s exactly what happened Monday, July 7, off the coast of Ormond-by-the-Sea. Swimmers at the beach spotted the 6-foot reptile Monday morning, thinking at first it was “a big piece of carpet,” according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The critter was floating along, being pushed by the current, eventually causing lifeguard Ryan Every to get everyone out of the water.
“I thought it could be a manatee or a shark, but then I saw its head,” Every told the journal. “It was slowly moving.”
Known for lurking in Florida’s fresh waters, alligators do sometimes venture into the ocean and gulf, but they can’t survive the saltwater for too long. A similar sighting took place in May 2014 at Folly Beach, S.C., when a 10-foot gator made an appearance. That case didn’t end so well for the gator, which was eventually shot and killed in front of beachgoers, creating an uproar, according to ABC News.
In the Ormond case, the gator was allowed to float away and swimmers eventually returned to the water.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at the beach? Tell us by commenting below!