Charlie Helms, who filmed the enormous beast ambling near the third hole of Buffalo Creek Golf Club in Palmetto, Fl., posted the video to his Facebook page last Wednesday. He said he couldn’t believe what he saw.
“I was stunned and silent,” Helms told ABC Action News over the phone. “I didn’t know if we were being punked or something.”
Eventually posted to Youtube by Golf.com courtesy of Helms, the video has made national news and garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
Helms and a friend estimated the gator was about 15 feet long. In the video, Helms speculates that the giant reptile is so big it could be “two guys in an alligator suit.”
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of 15-foot gators terrorizing Florida residents. Last month, a Florida farmer shot and killed a 15-foot, 800-pound alligator that had been eating his cows.
According to an 2015 poll by Ipsos, 52 percent of Americans report being scared of alligators, a zoological feat only eclipsed by snakes, who are reported as feared by 54 percent of Americans.
Although fatal alligator attacks are pretty rare (only about 23 since 1973, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (PDF), this latest video is unlikely to assuage people of their (perfectly justified) fears of giant lizards.