9-foot alligator taking the expressway is pulled over by Florida trooper, photos show

An alligator showed up in traffic on Florida’s Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, and the state’s much-maligned drivers showed restraint by not running it over.

It wasn’t easy.

The speed limit on the Hillsborough County highway is 55 or 60 mph, and alligators exceed 30 mph only when they’re lunging, which is something nobody wants on an expressway.

A passerby reported the gator around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 31, according to Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol.

“A trooper arrived about 20 minutes (later) and waited for the trapper while working to keep the gator from entering the roadway,” he said. “The alligator was taken into custody without incident at 8 p.m.”

He didn’t reveal how Trooper J. Lambeta kept the gator from moving around as cars whizzed past.

The gator was estimated at 9 feet, which is about medium sized in a state where alligators reach 14.5 feet and 1,000 pounds.

Florida Highway Patrol officials cited the incident as an example of how troopers never know who they’ll be rescuing.

Photos were shared on social media, where jokesters asked if the alligator was illegally detained and/or questioned with an attorney present.

“I take it he was trying to get into the high-speed lane,” one commenter wrote.

“Clear violation of the gator’s 4th amendment right to not be subject to unreasonable search and seizure,” another said.

The Selmon Expressway is a 17-mile highway that feeds into downtown Tampa.

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