Watch: Massively Big Gator Strolls Past Visitors
January 18, 2017
A massive alligator that was caught on camera near Lakeland, Fla., recently isÂ such a big gator many think he'sÂ fake.
But apparently "Humpback" is real, saidÂ the Lakeland Police Department, which postedÂ theÂ video of the reptileÂ on Facebook this week. The video was shotÂ at theÂ Circle B Bar ReserveÂ on Jan. 15.
TheÂ video shows the alligator crossing a pathway in front of several people underÂ the title, "It looks like a dinosaur!"
Many wondered if the videoÂ -- which showed a big gator estimated to beÂ more than 12 feet long -- wasÂ a hoax, but Polk County government said it is not. TheÂ county said on social mediaÂ "Humpback" is real and he isÂ not the only big gator in the preserve.
"By our standards, he's big, but nothing out of the ordinary for the preserve. If you do come across him while you're out there, please keep your distance and stay safe -- both for your safety and his." -- Polk County, Fla., government
Local TV reporter Ryan Raiche reported the county said someone had jumped fromÂ a viewing platform to get a closer look, the kind of thingÂ the county had feared might happen when the gator video went viral online. The county urges visitors to the preserve
National Geographic says gators can get to Humpback's size;Â the largest published size for an American alligator is 14 feet, 9.25 inches (killed in Alabama in 2014). Gators can live more than 70 years.
So, what do you think you'd do if you met up with "Humpback."