A massive alligator spotted on a Florida golf course recently stunned golfers in a video that has gone viral, but the Jurassic-size beast is a regular there, say locals.
Golfer Charles Helms, 56, recorded images of the giant reptile estimated to be about 15 feet long walking across the fairway at Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto.
"It is very common to see alligators on a Florida golf course and they're typically not a threat to golfers," Helms told Golf.com
. "Wild alligators are shy and will not bother you unless you provoke it or corner it so it feels threatened."
Still, Helms said the sight of gargantuan animal drew stunned silence from golfers.
"I think that's two guys in an alligator suit," Helms quipped in the video. His friend, David Matos, appears in the video taking pictures of the beast and further illuminating the gator's size.
But it isn't the first time the gator has drawn attention.
"People have heard that he is out here and that is all they want to see so they will bring spectators to ride so somebody can get a picture," pro shop clerk Wendy Schofield told KSNV-TV
. "He doesn't bother anybody and they don't bother him, he's like a mascot for the course, which is owned by Manatee County."
"He has been here for a very, very long time. He's not new at all," she said. "There have been guesses that he's 15 to 16 feet long."
Helms posted the video on Facebook on May 25, drawing widespread attention.
"I didn't know if we were being punked or something," Helms told WFTS-TV
. "It was just laying down, resting, when it got up and started moving towards the big lake."
Twitter users shared their surprise and disbelief about the enormous beast.
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