In the streets and on the run: Alligators are having a ‘hot girl summer’ of their own

‘Chance the Snapper’ evaded capture in Chicago back in July. Chicago Animal Care and Control/Facebook
  • You thought it was “hot girl summer”? You were wrong.
  • It’s actually Alligator August(and June, and July), folks.
  • Although most people associate them with the swamps of Florida, alligators have been everywhere and are doing everything this summer.
  • From climbing fences in Florida to swimming in a Chicago lagoon, here are 11 of the best alligator stories so far this year.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Sure, tales of Florida Man are well documented, but perhaps less talked about are the tales of Florida alligators, which have been popping up in the most unlikely of places.

Alligators are typically relegated to the swampy areas of the southeast. But this summer? They’re making a mark all over the map.

From breaking into a Florida home and smashing wine bottles, to evading capture in a Chicago lagoon, here are 11 of the best alligator stories of 2019, so far.

Our journey starts in April when hungry alligators began to look for food in one Florida neighbourhood.

This alligator is thinking about its next meal, probably. Tyler Kaufman/AP Photo

Usually, Floridians don’t bat an eye when they come in close contact with a rogue reptile or amphibian. But back in April, residents for Fort Myers, Florida, say they had a few encounters with hungry, hungry hippos alligators that were too close for comfort, the Huffington Post reported at the time.

There were sightings both on the street and on a residential property and one gator even crashed through a home’s deck screen. But experts said not to worry.

Brian Norris, a spokesperson for Florida Fish and Wildlife, told Fox 4 Now that the animals were prowling around looking for food, which is pretty typical behaviour when the weather gets warm ahead of springtime mating season


Later that month, authorities mistook an 11-foot-long alligator for a … person.

Clearly an animal. Rob Carr/Getty Images

In a case of mistaken identity at best, authorities in Miami mistook an 11-foot-long, 600-pound alligator for a person lying unconscious in the grass. But when the Miami Fire Rescue crew approached the enshrouded figure, it became immediately clear that it was not a human – not at all.

As the crew made its way toward the alligator, the animal careened through a fence.

“We watched that gator go through that fence like nothing,” Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll Jr. said.

Catching it would take another few hours and an assist from the Miami PD. Read more >>

In May, a snake got stuck in alligator’s jaw. And yes, there are pictures.

An action shot. BirdWalk Photography

On May 4, Linda Waring and her husband Jesse were walking through Circle B Bar Reserve along a path called “Alligator Alley” when they saw something really, truly out of the ordinary: A snake casually sitting inside of an alligator’s jaw.

While it appears harmonious, there is – spoiler – a rather macabre ending. The snake became lunch for the gator, Linda told Insider. Read more >>

Also in Florida, a woman pulled a 1-foot-long alligator out of her yoga pants during a traffic stop.

Tiny gator. Deskian Krishnan/AP

A routine traffic stop turned rather reptile-y in Punta Gorda, Florida this past May.

Police pulled over a pickup truck after the driver ran a stop sign. They searched the car and found 41 three-stripe turtles in a – wait for it – “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” backpack, according to the Associated Press.

When asked if there was anything else that needed to be confiscated, 25- year-old Ariel Machan-Le Quire, who was a passenger in the vehicle, pulled a one-foot-long alligator out of her pants.


Then there was a gator break-in. Would you believe this was also in Florida?

The alligator made a bit of a mess. myclearwaterPD/Twitter

On May 31, Mary Wischhusen woke up to the sound of a loud crash. It was about 3:30 a.m., so she went to the bathroom. And then she decided to go investigate the noises, she told Fox 13.

She certainly didn’t expect the intruder to be an 11-foot-long alligator in her house Clearwater, Florida. After “hyperventilating a little,” she came downstairs and, to her horror, saw that the gator had smashed bottles of her red wine all over the floor. Read more >>

An alligator ruined a romantic picnic, which could really only happen in (you guessed it) Florida.

Nice day for a snack. Taylor Forte/Shutterstock

Taylor Forte told Insider that she and her fiancé, Trevor Walters, were trying to have a romantic picnic on the University of Florida’s campus in Gainesville when an uninvited guest swam up and joined them.

As they say, two’s company and three’s a crowd. The gator ate a whole block of Gouda and even went for their guacamole and other treats.

The couple told CBS affiliate WGFL they acted out a “bear scare,” making loud noises to frighten the bear.

“Surprisingly enough, it worked,” Forte told Insider.

A community in Texas was distressed after an alligator was spotted swimming with a knife in its head.

People are horrified. KPRC 2 Click2Houston/YouTube

The people of Sugarland, Texas, were bewildered when they saw an alligator swimming in local Pumpkin Lake with a knife lodged in its head, according to Click 2 Houston.

Not surprisingly, residents who saw the animal had a lot of questions.

Erin Weaver, a resident who saw the animal herself, had her own theories.

“I feel that somebody did this on purpose,” she said. “I can’t imagine this animal going after somebody that they would have to defend themselves, because we’ve never had that happen before.”


Then a 463-pound alligator attempted to cross a Florida Interstate. It didn’t end well.

Bigger than your average. Vaughan Gators, LLC/Facebook

Why did the alligator cross the road? No idea.

But on June 3, just after midnight, one alligator bravely strolled where alligators probably should not go: the middle of an interstate road, according to WESH 2. As you might imagine, it did not end well for the big guy.

The animal, which clocked in at a weight of 463 pounds and a length of 12 feet, was struck by a semi-truck, according to ABC Action News. The gator was severely injured upon impact and a gator trapper was called to the scene. Read more >>

In July, a 4-foot-long alligator evaded capture in a Chicago park for a week.

Gator time. Chicago Animal Care and Control/Facebook

It was the saga of the summer when a 4-foot-long alligator believed to be an escaped pet went on the loose inChicago’s Humboldt Park Lagoon for a week.

After experts exhausted all their options, reinforcements had to be called in from Florida to capture the animal. Although the gator was potentially dangerous, locals took to the animal, nicknaming it “Chance the Snapper” after hometown favourite Chance the Rapper.

In his week at large, the animal managed to inspire satirical fan accounts and garnered nation-wide support. Read more >>

And a Staten Island man tried to wrangle an alligator on his own, citing that he was inspired by Steve Irwin.

Charlie the gator in custody. NBC New York

Trapping wild animals is definitely a “don’t try this at home kind of thing.” And yet, when Don Walters saw a 3-foot-alligator in the woods, he decided to literally take matters into his own hands and catch the animal himself, according to NBC New York.

“I’ve seen skunks, groundhogs, beaver, fox deer – thousands of deer – birds of prey. An alligator? Go figure,” Walters told the outlet.

He said he had a lifetime’s worth of experience leading up to this moment.

“I’ve watched enough TV, plus I’ve lived in Florida so I’ve got with them before,” he told the New York Post. Specifically, he told the outlet that he was inspired by Steve Irwin on “The Crocodile Hunter.”

So how did it work out? Well…

The summer was rounded out by a feat of extraordinary alligator acrobatics.

That’s a gator over yonder. Matt Devitt/Facebook

Sure, it’s cliche, but Florida really outdid itself this time. In mid-August, a video circulated that showed an alligator climbing a fence near the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

Footage of the incident is, in one word, horrifying. In two words: almost unbelievable. But seeing is believing.

Don’t worry: The gator stuck the landing over the fence, with a thud that has to be heard to be believed. Read more >>