Motorists expect to see many different things strapped to vehicles on Labor Day weekend. Floaties, kayaks, luggage, coolers, and those sorts of things are common. However, one Floridian never expected to see an alligator folded up and tied to the back of an SUV.
Yet, while driving down Interstate 95 on Saturday, September 3, Karen Kress found herself driving 70 miles an hour behind an SUV with an alligator hanging on the bumper. That's certainly one way to bring your gator home!
The Tampa native was shocked.
"Definitely disbelief!" Kress told the Miami Herald. "I moved here 30 years ago because of the nature and never tire of seeing an alligator. However, never expected it to spot one on the interstate!"
She posted the picture to Facebook the following day so others could experience the oddity. Her caption read, "Spotted on I-95 yesterday. I'm accepting suggested captions." Her post received thousands of responses, from punny commentary to utter disbelief. One person asked if it was a pool float, but Kress confirmed, "totally real."
The massive gator had its tail folded around the front so it could fit properly, and it's tip was touching its snout. In total, it was likely twice the width of the Chevy Traverse.
While the sight may be a little unsettling for some, Kress said, "Despite me being a vegetarian, I don't have a problem if this was a permitted legal hunt."
Alligator hunting season runs from August 15 to November 1 in Florida. The state has a massive population of 1.3 million alligators, and the prehistoric-looking creatures reside in all 67 counties. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 7,000 permits are issued annually to assist in population control.
Since they are everywhere, Florida also has a Nuisance Alligator Hotline, giving property owners a resource for removing an unwanted interloper from their pools and porches. Florida defines a nuisance alligator as one at least 4 feet long or larger, citing that those smaller are not big enough to harm anyone. However, there is the pool and porch exception, and a trapper will come out to safely relocate the animal.
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