Workers and visitors of a strip mall in Flagler Beach, on the northeast coast of Florida, were incredibly surprised when an alligator began to stroll along the sidewalks.
The employee of an antique store, Denise Nichols-Gearhardt, told el Nuevo Herald that she was with two customers, showing them the new space they will be moving into soon when noticed the reflection of the alligator behind her.
“I am a native Floridian and am not spooked by them, but I do know not to startle them and to get out of their way,” said Nichols-Gearhardt, who recorded a 22-second video showing the reptile moving in front of the shops.
After making sure the customers were safe and on the way to their vehicles, Nichols-Gearhardt entered the store, closed the door and started recording.
Never miss a local story.
“I had the door to the store open ALL DAY... if I wouldn’t have walked outside and saw him he probably would have ended up inside,” she said of the gator (which she assumes is a he).
At one point, the alligator stopped in front of America’s Donuts shop, distracted by the reflection of the glass. Nichols-Gearhardt joked that maybe the alligator wanted something sweet to eat.
The reptile ended up in a pond on the other side of the building.
“About a year ago, one crossed thru the lot, but this guy wanted to use the sidewalk,” said Nichols-Gearhardt.
Follow Johanna A. Álvarez on Twitter: @jalvarez8.