A Florida motorist traveled Interstate 95 with an alligator tied to the bumper over Labor Day weekend, and social media has questions ... lots of questions.
It happened Saturday, Sept. 3, in Brevard County and interstate traveler Karen Kress of Tampa reports she was among those in 70-mph traffic behind the hog-tied reptile.
“Definitely disbelief!” Kress said of her initial reaction. “I moved here 30 years ago because of the nature and never tire of seeing an alligator. However, never expected it to spot one on the interstate!”
She shared a photo of the scene on Facebook, showing the large alligator was almost double the width of the vehicle (forcing the driver to fold its tail around). Other travelers appeared to be equally surprised, she said, and were also taking photos.
The identity of the driver is unknown, but it was likely a hunter participating in Florida’s alligator season, which runs Aug. 15-Nov. 1.
Alligators average 10 feet in Florida, making them difficult to squeeze in any vehicle. They also tend to smell like swamps.
As a result, transporting a lawfully harvested alligator on the back of a vehicle is legal in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Kress posted the photo with a tongue-in-cheek invitation: “I’m accepting suggested captions.” Thousands have responded, offering a lot of “tailgator” puns and jokes about the hunter’s situation clearly defying Uber standards.
“Well it’s not going in the cab,” Andrew Armbruster wrote on Facebook.
“Clearly, that wasn’t going to fit in the passenger compartment,” Robert Lockwood posted.
The photo also riled animal rights activists, some of whom called it animal cruelty. Others questioned whether it was an elaborate hoax by the driver.
“Is that an actual real gator, or a pool float?” Erin McGirt Chantry asked.
“That gator does not look real!” Kristine Tragesser posted.
Kress says she got close enough to take a good look at the alligator, and she reports it was “totally real.”
“Despite me being a vegetarian, I don’t have a problem if this was a permitted legal hunt,” she added.
Florida issues 7,000 alligator hunting permits annually to help control a population that has topped 1.3 million, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Alligators are found in all 67 of the state’s counties.