Another day, another interesting gator encounter in the Sunshine State.

By Marisa Spyker
June 11, 2019
© Arto Hakola/Getty Images

When you’re dining alfresco, you can often expect to host a few uninvited guests: mosquitoes, flies, maybe a brave raccoon. When you’re dining alfresco in Florida, however, there’s a chance things could a little weirder.

That’s what one couple experienced recently while sharing a romantic lakeside picnic on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville when a large alligator emerged from the water and approached their spread. While the famous Florida reptiles are known to feast primarily on insects, fish, and small animals, this one appears to have had a more sophisticated palette.

“He annihilated an entire block of cheese. Gobbled it down, lickety split,” Trevor Walters, who was dining with his fiancé Taylor Forte, told CBS affiliate WGFL.

And that’s not all the hungry gator treated himself to off the couple’s picnic blanket. According to Walters and Forte, the unexpected lunch guest devoured nearly everything in sight, including half a watermelon, salami, and a pound of grapes. He also managed, impressively, to empty an entire bowl of homemade guacamole. “He put the whole bowl in his mouth,” said Walters.

Related: The Scientific Way To Treat Jellyfish Stings (It's Not With Pee!):

While Florida gators are known to make appearances in unexpected places, they don’t typically fearlessly approach humans for a taste of their finger foods (or, thankfully, for their fingers or any other body parts). Karen Parker, a public information coordinator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told WGFL that this one’s bravery is likely due to the actions of past visitors.

“Unfortunately it sounds like that gator has been fed previously and has lost its weariness of people and is beginning to associate people with food,” she said.  According to Parker, alligators who charge humans are considered a threat and are typically ordered by the FWC to be removed from their habitats by trappers, who keep the reptiles for their hide and meat.

That’s why it’s important, if you do encounter a gator, to keep your guac to yourself. It could ultimately save both its life and your lunch. Read more tips about how to live safely and harmoniously with Florida’s famous swamp creatures here.

 

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