JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Fish and Wildlife responded to a wild gator roaming the street at a school in the Moncrief area.
On Sunday, a viewer sent Action News Jax video that shows the moment the gator was spotted strolling in the parking lot, while neighbors watched behind a fence.
The FWC said they captured this nearly 10-foot alligator at the former Saint Clair Evans Academy in Jacksonville and harvested it off-site.
Action News Jax spoke with a nuisance wildlife trapper, who shared safety precautions you should take if you’re ever in a potentially dangerous situation.
“There is not a human on earth that can outrun a gator in the first 10 yards,” owner of Hunt Wildlife Services, Astin Hunt said.
Astin said it is natural for a gator to hunt from a bank and although it’s not likely you’ll be pursued by one in an urban setting, it’s not impossible.
He advises if you see a gator, it’s important not to approach it and keep a safe distance.
“They got a fast switch so yeah, they’re explosive, " Astin said. “As they leave water and grab prey that’s the kill zone, so if you are far enough away it should be no issue at all, they have no interest pursuing you on land.”
In a statement from Duval County Public Schools about the alligator:
While this gator chose to visit the campus on a Sunday when no people were present, we do want to ensure the students are safe. All wildlife issues are handled on a case-by-case basis. In this case, facilities staff will survey the perimeter of the campus to determine where the alligator may have entered. They will take preventative measures as appropriate.
The FWC said From Jan. 1 to Apr. 30 of this year, 117 alligators were harvested from the Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach area.
[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]
If there is concern over an alligator, the FWC’s has a toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR , and they will dispatch a contracted nuisance alligator trapper to resolve the situation.