WATCH: 12-Foot Alligator Startles Florida Beachgoers After Washing Ashore

by Taylor Cunningham
No release required

Some Delray Beachgoers caught a scary and unusual sight early on Oct 12 when they saw a 12-foot alligator walking along the shore.

Apparently, visitors of the popular spot watched the giant animal “casually meander” along the beach. The crocodile never threatened anyone and was eventually relocated to a more suitable habitat. But the situation caused quite a stir.

Local resident T.J. Tamaccio captured the event on camera and sent the footage to WPTV Palm Beach. He also called the station and described the scene.

“It was crazy. I just rolled up to the beach doing my routine, and I saw the commotion. I thought it would be a little shark or something,” he said. “I was trying to think where it came from. It must have been far out there but probably came from Boynton Inlet and got lost and had to get to land and beach itself.”

Florida Alligators Prefer Slow-Moving Freshwater Homes

Tamaccio instantly recognized that the massive lizard was an alligator, which is considerably more aggressive than the more common crocodile.

Florida is home to both crocodiles and alligators, but seeing either near the ocean is a strange occurrence. However, seeing an alligator in the surf is almost unheard of. Crocodiles can live in fresh, salt, and brackish waters, but are not strong enough swimmers to fight the ocean waves. Though, they will, on rare occasions, travel by the beaches to get to a new destination. Alligators only live in freshwater or brackish waters.

Several people called local authorities. Local police officers and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission responded. As the footage shows, officers harnessed the animal and pulled it away using a lifeguard ATV. The alligator showed to interest in leaving the scenic spot. As the driver pulled away, the creature buried its legs and face into the sand.

According to the news station, a trapper transferred the animal into a truck and eventually took it to a local farm.

Had the animal stayed on shore, it likely would have died. The FWC said that alligators can only tolerate and swim in salt water for a short amount of time. The lizards prefer slow-moving rivers, freshwater lakes, and brackish swamps, which is a mix of both fresh and saltwater.

“That’s a popular spot right there at North End, So people are swimming there all the time and stuff” Tamaccio added. “So good thing no one got hurt or anything. But definitely, only in Florida.”