Welcome to Florida, indeed. Surely having an excellent sense of humor (like this officer) is a prerequisite for joining the pan handle’s police force. So, so many Florida Man stories.
Few shockers, however, come with such a pitch-perfect photo as this one. Seen below, one Palm Bay Police Department officer was responding to a “Florida situation” (is that a thing? It should be) that surely involved this big ol’ alligator caught in a residential storm drain.
Mere feet from someone’s front door, the officer and the gator smile their best for the selfie. It’s priceless:
The gator isn’t actually smiling, of course, but might as well be. When American alligators open their wide maws like this, it’s actually a sign of aggression. It’s used to ward off rival gators and intimidate potential threats – which this human must’ve seemed at the time.
In reality, the Palm Bay officer is there to help. Or get the train rolling towards help, at least. I definitely don’t recommend any officer, no matter how well-trained, attempt to tackle a large alligator situation solo.
The department agrees, citing to “Never approach or feed a gator, to report a nuisance gator: 866-FWC-Gator” for their fellow Floridians.
Florida Alligator Gets Stuck in Storm Drain, Goes Viral
The number above is for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation’s hotline. Floridians should probably have this number on speed-dial, yes?
And like pro public servants, Palm Bay Police Department lets the public know that “No animals (or officers) were harmed in the making of this photo.”
We know the gator is the one that’s stuck, but this Outsider and wildlife tech would be far more concerned for the officer than the alligator in this scenario. Especially considering the whole Stephen King’s IT vibes we’re getting here. If anything would be more terrifying to see coming out of a sewer drain than a gator, it’s a clown.
Luckily, the internet is the internet, and one Twitter user went above and beyond to nail it in the comments with this IT/gator mashup:
H8ers will say it’s photoshopped pic.twitter.com/ZYeJFnY5Hq— Christy Turner (@CTurnerWFTV) September 24, 2021
Brilliant. Thankfully, alligator attacks on humans aren’t all that common. We’re not sure about clowns, though. That’s a whole other ballpark.
“Personally, I’d feel a lot better about that gator if he wasn’t smiling. This one looks like he’s chuckling with anticipation,” replies Maureen.
Perhaps the perfect response for those not living in Florida, however, comes from follower Beep_Beep. The Las Vegas-based tweeter replies with a classic Bugs Bunny gif that sums up this image for the rest of America: