‘Only in Florida’: Alligator strolls across busy Tampa junction after waiting for police escort 

Florida drivers faced an unexpected traffic- hold-up when an alligator interrupted traffic at a busy Tampa junction.

The huge beast is seen in video footage laying in the middle of the junction, obstructing several lanes of traffic, only to calmly stroll away when police turned up and seemingly gave it VIP treatment to cross the road. 

The alligator, estimated at 10-feet long, attempted to cross a six-lane boulevard near Interstate 75 around 1:30pm Sunday. 

Local media reported that a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy guided it off the road and to a nearby lake. 

Florida drivers faced an unexpected delay when an alligator interrupted traffic at a busy Tampa junction

Florida drivers faced an unexpected delay when an alligator interrupted traffic at a busy Tampa junction

Florida drivers faced an unexpected delay when an alligator interrupted traffic at a busy Tampa junction

In a video, the huge beast appeared to be waiting for a police escort as it lay in the middle of the road, obstructing several lanes of traffic, only to calmly stroll away when officers approached

In a video, the huge beast appeared to be waiting for a police escort as it lay in the middle of the road, obstructing several lanes of traffic, only to calmly stroll away when officers approached

In a video, the huge beast appeared to be waiting for a police escort as it lay in the middle of the road, obstructing several lanes of traffic, only to calmly stroll away when officers approached

A video of the moment, shot by Ruchama Lubin-Desir, has been viewed more than 12million times. 

‘It’s not something I had personally seen before but it can happen all the time in Florida,’ the 36-year-old said.  ‘Only in Florida, that’s my slogan!’

Drivers were kept waiting through multiple traffic light cycles, driver Sue Blockel Juncal told McClatchy News. The disruption lasted nearly five minutes.

‘He sauntered while drivers scooted around him. He’d take five steps, pause, take five more steps and pause. The honking and cars didn’t seem to bother him … like he’d done all this before,’ she said.

The alligator, estimated to be 10-feet long, attempted to cross a six-lane boulevard near Interstate 75 at around 1:30pm on Sunday

The alligator, estimated to be 10-feet long, attempted to cross a six-lane boulevard near Interstate 75 at around 1:30pm on Sunday

The alligator, estimated to be 10-feet long, attempted to cross a six-lane boulevard near Interstate 75 at around 1:30pm on Sunday

A video of the moment, shot by Ruchama Lubin-Desir, has been viewed more than 12million times

A video of the moment, shot by Ruchama Lubin-Desir, has been viewed more than 12million times

A video of the moment, shot by Ruchama Lubin-Desir, has been viewed more than 12million times

‘I sort of enjoyed it. He was doing his thing and we were infringing on his territory. I’ve lived in Florida since ’75 and I’ve seen alligators on golf courses, but not like this, in the middle of traffic.

‘He was big enough that anyone who hit him would have damaged their car.’ 

Social media users speculated that the alligator’s unusual behavior might be due to mating season, which falls in May and June, with ‘courtship’ beginning in April. 

One user commented on the video, saying: ‘His little walk is so funny!’

Another one wrote: ‘The cop is acting so normal like this happens regularly!’

Social media users speculated that the alligator's unusual behavior may be down to its mating season, which falls in May and June, with 'courtship' beginning in April

Social media users speculated that the alligator's unusual behavior may be down to its mating season, which falls in May and June, with 'courtship' beginning in April

Social media users speculated that the alligator’s unusual behavior may be down to its mating season, which falls in May and June, with ‘courtship’ beginning in April

The disruption lasted nearly five minutes with some many drivers attempting to serve the alligator

The disruption lasted nearly five minutes with some many drivers attempting to serve the alligator

The disruption lasted nearly five minutes with some many drivers attempting to serve the alligator

On the same day, the local sheriff’s office caught another 10-foot gator under a parked car at a Tampa apartment complex.

‘It’s mating season and in general, gators become more visible and active during spring and summer!,’ the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

‘When temperatures rise, their metabolism increases, and they start looking for food,’ the post said. 

‘The gator was not harmed and fortunately, no one was injured.’

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