Large alligator crosses busy Tavares road

When we showed up at the intersection on U.S. Highway 441 and State Road 19 in Tavares, Florida during rush hour,  we sure did not expect to see a nearly 10-foot-long alligator trying to cross the road.

Carol Johnson took the picture that caught our attention on Facebook.

"I looked up and saw this huge head...just wobbling around and I was like 'What?!' so I looked out the window and started yelling to everybody, 'There's a gator!'  I automatically started taking pictures and videos!"

The gator was spotted going back and forth, between a pond and a wooded area connected to the Harris Chain of Lakes.    Though we can't be certain why, a spokesman with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said, like many bodies of water in Central Florida, all five of the lakes in the Harris Chain are lower than usual.

When levels drop, so do undissolved oxygen levels.  That could cause fish kills, though FWC's Greg Workman said there hasn't not been any significant ones yet.  But when smaller bodies of water dry up, alligators go looking for other bodies of water...and other food.  So do turtles and some birds.

So as long as the drought continues, we all may be seeing more sights like this more often.

"We might change our name to Gator Tire or Florida Gator tire or something! I don't know!" said McGyver Smith, who works at the nearby Lake Auto and Tire.