An alligator showed up at a Florida Target, and drew a bigger crowd than the bargains

A small alligator at a Target in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on Sunday, April 29
A small alligator at a Target in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, on Sunday, April 29

Not the most usual sight, spotting an alligator while you do your Sunday Target run.

Shoppers were surprised to see a young gator cowering in the corner of the parking lot, in a store located in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

It was about 3:45 p.m., says witness Heather Schatz, who reported that there were a bunch of people huddled around something outside. When the mother of two realized it was an alligator, she was a little taken aback.

"There's just so many jokes you can make about something like that," said Schatz who posted pics on her Facebook page. "The gator made a Target run, it was there for the deals (or a new exclusive collaboration), it was their new security guard or mascot, or in my son's case, the gator ate my homework." Trappers soon arrived and managed to coax the reptile from its corner.

"One of them said it looked like it was about 3-4 years old," added Schatz, who said the creature looked much bigger while it was free than when it was restrained.

She said a trapper told the crowd that it probably came from a nearby retention pond.

"My daughter kept asking where they were taking it," added Schatz. "She said she wanted to take it home and put it in her bathtub, but didn't get an answer."

Schatz, a former Miami resident who now lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, never thought she'd see so much excitement after moving north.

"The crazy thing is I had just gotten back from Miami, where I'd been all week, and told a few folks down there how much quieter and safer for the kids it seemed," she laughed. "Maybe not."

A manager at the store confirmed an alligator was on their property, but gave no further details.

Target's corporate office did not immediately comment.