FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - The bizarre sight of an alligator soaking up the Monday morning sun at the beach on Amelia Island caught the attention of beach-goers and neighbors alike.
“I was pretty shocked to see that picture of an alligator right out here where we swim and expect to see sea life, not necessarily swamp life,” Nassau County surfer Jan Block said.
Pictures of the sunbathing alligator were posted to social media by Brinda Cook-Linck on Monday morning.
Did you “sea” what was sunbathing on the beach this morning in Amelia Island? 👀🐊— Ryan Nelson (@RyanANJax) August 5, 2019
At 5:15 on CBS 47 @ActionNewsJax I’ll explain what to do if you come across a ‘Gator at the beach! #Florida pic.twitter.com/lxeDXT6Ii5
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) confirms a reported alligator sighting in Amelia Island this morning, but Nassau County Deputies did not locate the animal, thus FWC officers did not respond.
In June we showed you a video taken by Action News Jax Reporter Christy Turner of an alligator being pulled from the ocean in Jacksonville Beach. FWC experts say warmer weather means alligators are more active.
“Alligators are able to swim in and tolerate saltwater, but it is not their preferred habitat,” said FWC spokesperson Karen Parker. “Serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. FWC places the highest priority on public safety and administers a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property.”
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If you see an alligator in any setting that seems unusual, you’re encouraged to keep your distance, and call the FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
Block says keeping her distance is something she doesn’t need to be told twice.
“When the crocodile or the alligator comes by, you just let them do their thing and give them their space,” Block said.
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