FLORIDA (CBS Local) – Alligator sightings are a common thing if you live in the south, but a wave of the monstrous creatures made their presence felt over the final weekend in April. Several residents in Florida and Texas were sent into a panic as large gators stopped traffic, invaded porches, and even approached a Target store over the weekend.
- Several large alligators were spotted in Florida and Texas over the last weekend of April
- A gator stopped traffic in Texas on U.S. Route 59
- Another gator entered the parking lot of a Jacksonville Target
- Animal control workers say alligator mating season has just begun
The alligator invasion started in Florida on April 28, when an “aggressive” 11-foot reptile made its way onto the front porch of home in The Villages near Orlando. “The minute that it seen a person it immediately, you now, started to hiss and come toward the person and as I walked over closer to it, it wanted to bite me,” Al Roberts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said, via WKMG.
Luckily the homeowner was out of town when the nearly 600-pound gator walked up to the house. Animal control workers were eventually able to tie the beast up and take it to a USDA-approved alligator processing facility.
The next day, an alligator in Jacksonville sent Target shoppers into a panic as it roamed the store parking lot. Trappers quickly arrived to take the gator away from the crowd. “One of them said it looked like it was about 3-4 years old,” witness Heather Schatz told the Miami Herald. “The crazy thing is I had just gotten back from Miami… and told a few folks down there how much quieter and safer for the kids it seemed.”
Later that night in Texas, a large gator stopped traffic on U.S. Route 59. The 11-foot gator reportedly decided to camp out on the road near Cleveland, Texas just after midnight on April 30. “The gator was just there and not moving. He would rise up and hiss at them anytime someone would get close,” Texas resident Chance Ward told the Houston Chronicle.
Ward and first responders were able to get traffic moving around the massive gator and eventually tied the creature up. The gator was then taken from the area and released into a lake far from the highway.
One more gigantic gator was caught on tape in Florida plowing straight through a barbed wire fence over the weekend. Teasia Warner of Mulberry told reporters she was on the way to church when she captured the fast moving beast charging through the sharpened fence wire on the side of the road.
According to the FWC, it’s likely the massive gator sightings won’t stop anytime soon. The agency says alligator mating season takes place in May and June. Al Roberts said he received three more calls about “nuisance gators” on April 28. Roberts warns that large males will be out in many areas looking for mates over the next few weeks.