While some beachgoers may fear sharks, others have seen a predator they never expected to find at sea.
Matt Harvill and his girlfriend were enjoying Dauphin Island in Alabama when they spotted a giant freshwater alligator in the shallows of the ocean.
“The things you never think you’ll see,” Harvill wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
“First sighted an alligator on Dauphin Island.” You all be careful going west end.”
Harvill shared two videos and eight photos of the alligator, taken from different angles. In the videos, the reptile hovered calmly as small waves slapped the shore, with its nose pointed toward the beach.
The images showed the alligator covered in water to varying degrees. Some only had their heads above the water, while others had most of their bodies visible.
Harvill told WBRC, “It was just a really beautiful day — my girlfriend and I were just spending time at the beach when someone mentioned it.”
“So we went down to get a better look and take some pictures.” That doesn’t happen every day. We see them in the Dog River and the Bird Sanctuary. As good as never in golf.
“I knew if I didn’t get pictures, nobody would believe it.”
Harvill added that the alligator mostly looked curious.
It’s not the first time an alligator has been spotted in salt water.
Another unlikely incident occurred in December off the coast of Palm Coast, Florida, where a 10-foot alligator was seen swimming in the ocean.
Aerial photographer Nick Serrano, who chronicled a blacktip shark’s migration, filmed the reptile using a drone.
“I’ve lived on Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches for 18 years and I’ve never seen an alligator breach the bay,” Serrano said.
“I’ve heard stories of possible sightings in the past, but to my knowledge none have been caught on video.
“A unique experience that I will certainly remember.”
Alligators typically wade in freshwater swamps, marshes, and slow-moving rivers.
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