Alligators already have a lot of natural advantages; it’s part of why they’ve been around so long. However, is the ability to climb trees among their skill set? A man in Cape Coral, Florida, says he was shocked to find what appeared to be a 5-foot alligator in a tree near his property.

“Saw something in a tree, at first I thought maybe it was a lizard,” Ronald Saracino told WINK. “The more I looked at it, the more I thought it was actually probably a 5-foot gator.”

In a post to his Facebook, Saracino said that he originally thought the lizard was a very large iguana, at least until closer inspection. From the photo that Saracino took, it certainly looks like a young alligator was relaxing on a tree branch as if it was the most natural thing in the world. And according to some experts, it might be. Alligators are known for climbing over fences or other barriers to get to where they want to be, so climbing up a small tree for a perch might not be out of the question.

“I’ve seen picture of crocodiles doing that behavior. It gives them a little bit better view of their territory,” said Amy Sera, a wildlife educator. “Cold blooded animals get their energy from the sun and the warmth. So, they are more active in the summer.”

Something to think about the next time you take shade underneath a tree on a hot summer day.

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