Alligators in Florida get just about everywhere, and apparently that includes ballparks as well. Groundskeepers at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte discovered a 10-foot alligator curled up underneath the benches in the visiting team’s dugout last Friday, just hours before a game. Seeing as how the alligator had no intention of vacating the premises, Kyle Mckenzie of the Stone Crabs, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, took a picture of the gator and posted it to Twitter.
— kyle mckenzie (@kmckenzie13) July 24, 2015
Fellow team member Maxx Tissenbaum also snapped another one from further away.
— Maxx Tissenbaum (@8_Maxx) July 24, 2015
“It was set up like a zoo exhibit,” McKenzie told SunCoast Sports Now. “We were all just standing outside the railing,”
It was one exhibit that the team needed to remove, and fast. The Stone Crabs were set to play the Daytona Tortugas later that day, and unless they wanted the visiting team to start guarding their ankles, the alligator had to go. So while the alligator was busy sniffing out chewing gum, sunflower seeds, and years of collected sweat, animal control officers snuck up on the animal and subdued it. The gator was then transported to a nearby pond and released.
It is believed that the alligator had entered the park through an open gate after making a long trek across the stadium’s parking lot. Maybe it just wanted to catch a game?
Image from Twitter