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"First time I've ever seen it on Big Hickory Preserve," Capt. Jessica DeGraw told WTVT-TV, adding that after it had enough of the water, it came ashore and took a stroll on the beach.
Even alligators need a little summer break. But the occurrence is indeed rare.
These animals are not meant to thrive in saltwater, as they lack the glands that can pump sodium out of their bodies, according to Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. The Gulf is saltwater.
As many Floridians know, alligators are usually found in swamps, marshes, lakes, rivers and canals.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urges people to call in to its Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286 if concerned about an alligator. The FWC will send out a trapper.
Given this is Florida, there will be gators. The FWC has some tips on how to deal with the critters. Among them:
▪ Never feed an alligator and keep your distance. This means no selfies near a gator.
▪ Keep pets on a leash and away from the water. Dogs are prey for alligators.
▪ Swim only in designated areas during daylight hours.