An alligator in a romantically named location off Fort Myers Beach apparently likes a little salt in his water.
The captain of a chartering service spotted an alligator swimming in the salt water near Lover's Key just off Fort Myers Beach on Monday.
Captain Jessica DeGraw, with Island Time Dolphin & Shelling Cruises Inc., told CBS4 she was taking a family of five out on a cruise near Big Hickory Preserve when they spotted the four- to five-foot long gator swimming nearby.
“I told them if he comes up on shore we want to step back, so we kept kind of just inching back as he stepped on the beach and I said if he comes up here he can run faster than we can!" DeGraw said.
Sure enough, after swimming in calm waters, the reptile sauntered onto the shore and sunned itself a bit, before walking toward a lagoon on the other side of the island.
The company posted a video and image to its Instagram account. By Tuesday afternoon, the video had about 600 views.
While it's rare to find alligators in salt water, it's not uncommon to see alligators or crocodiles in the Gulf, according to marine life experts.
A six-foot long crocodile caught Hollywood beach goers by surprise when it swam near the Dania Beach Pier and then rested along the beach off Johnson Street near Margaritaville in November 2017, giving tourists from up north plenty to talk about.
In the case of the Lover's Key gator, that one is believed to have originated from the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve where fresh water, from recent Lake Okeechobee discharges, meets salt water, CBS4 reported. DeGraw said this was the first gator she'd spotted in the five years she has conducted charter tours.
“He could've gotten lost and wandered into that area," she said. "It was a little scary, but a little exciting at the same time."