Large gator at Polk Nature Discovery Center captures media attention

In Polk County, Florida, an enormous gator has garnered thousands of views and more than 12,000 shares on social media  as he slowly crossed the path of shocked tourists. Of course, it’s not unusual for Florida residents to see alligators wandering freely along swamps, golf courses and occasionally tracking into residential neighborhoods, but just the size of this one has captured the attention of anyone ever doubting these  reptiles could grow to this enormous size.Giant gator

Polk’s Nature Discovery Center’s  purpose as part  of the Environmental Lands Program is to acquire, preserve, protect, manage, and restore endangered and environmentally sensitive lands, water resources and important wildlife habitat.  The area is used for outdoor recreational purposes provided that such uses will not disturb or degrade the environmental quality for which the site was acquired. Polk’s Nature Discovery Center is situated at Polk County’s Circle B Bar Reserve. The facilities at Circle B Bar Reserve were opened November 2008 and act as an information station for its visitors free of charge.

On the organization’s Facebook page, the gator referred to as Mr. Humpback was spotted on the Marsh Rabbit Run trail. Some of the reactions from the video viewers included:

Thomas G. LunsfordAt first , i thought this was photoshopped. That thing is ginormous!!
Like · 6 · 13 hrs
Kim Joiner
Kim JoinerNo photoshop. He was the biggest gator I have seen out there. I have been going out there for years too.”
Then again, what if one wasn’t prepared for a sight like this. This is what another visitor had to say:
Jamie MurdochThat big boy crossed in front of me last spring!! My heart stopped in my chest for a moment because I wasn’t expecting it and was so close, but boy what an amazing experience that was!!!”
(Photos and video via Polk’s Nature Discovery Center, Kimberly Campbell Wyatt, Sean Buckley and Kim Joiner)

Just in case you doubt the gator’s existence, here’s the short video shot by visitor Kim Joiner:

I love Circle B. Nature at its best. Today on MMR.

Posted by Kim Joiner on Sunday, January 15, 2017

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