“Hangry” 7-Foot Alligator Chases People Through Wendy’s Parking Lot in Florida

·2 min read

Customers at a Wendy's in Lehigh Acres, Florida, got their meals with an extra side of excitement this week.

According to police, a seven-foot alligator "chased pedestrians" through the restaurant's parking lot before being captured Monday afternoon.

"He may have just been 'hangry' for a cheeseburger, but he gave many quite the scare," the Lee County Sheriff's Office joked on Twitter alongside photos of the hair-raising capture.

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Deputies from the sheriff's office and a "nuisance alligator trapper" from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to reports of the wayward gator. FWC confirmed that it was eventually trapped in the parking lot of the Lehigh Acres Health & Rehabilitation Center across the street from the Wendy's.

No injuries were reported, and the animal has since been relocated to an alligator farm.

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Officials with the FWC say the gator was likely attempting to move "between two waterbodies" when it was spotted.

"Alligators prefer lakes and slow-moving rivers and their wetlands, but can also be found in brackish water and, for short periods of time, in saltwater," a spokesperson for the FWC said in a statement.

Just another day in Florida, y'all!

Alligator in the grass
Alligator in the grass

JonathanNicholls/Getty Images

Gator sightings in Florida have been on the rise recently. According to the FWC, it's likely due to the onset of mating season, which takes place in May and June. In fact, an alligator was filmed strolling through a Publix parking lot in nearby Fort Myers just a few weeks ago.

The increased alligator activity over the next few months can lead to more frequent run-ins with humans. Wildlife officials urge everyone to be careful and pay close attention when spending time around fresh or brackish water. Keep in mind that alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.

In the rare instance that you become concerned about an alligator, call FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286.