The wayward alligator was spotted in the ocean waters surrounding Alabama's Dauphin Island
Visitors to Dauphin Island, Alabama, had their beach trip interrupted by an unusual intruder.
On Sunday, Matt Harvill posted photos and a video from his visit to the Alabama beach, which show a gator swimming through the surf.
In the video, the creature — estimated to be around 5 feet long, according to AL.com — swims in the shallow ocean water near the shore. The alligator eventually does its best Little Mermaid impression, breaking through the surf as waves crash around the animal.
"The things you never think you'll see. First time seeing a gator on Dauphin Island. Heading towards the west end be careful y'all," Harvill wrote alongside the surprising photos on Facebook.
Alligators are usually found in slow-moving freshwater, but it's not unheard of for the reptiles to slip into the ocean occasionally. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab told AL.com that alligators frequent the waters around Dauphin Island.
The creature can end up in the saltwater while hunting for food. Alligators will move out of the freshwater areas of the island and into the ocean to catch crabs, turtles, and small sharks.
The sea lab added that it is more common to see gators in ocean waters after heavy rains because the ocean has less salinity, which the reptiles prefer.
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The surfing alligator spotted by Harvill is not the first gator seen near the ocean this year. In April, a massive alligator was found sunbathing near Galveston Island in Texas.
It is against state law to harass or kill an alligator in Alabama. If you spot an alligator while outdoors, Outdoor Alabama advises giving the animal its space and never trying to feed the creature.
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