In golf, it's important to keep your eyes on the ball (unless you're being shadowed by an alligator, in which case the occasional glance at the approaching gator is permitted). This exception applies to most golf courses in Florida where alligators are regular visitors to the links.


The Heritage Landing Golf & Country Club in Naples is one such course where these lumbering predators abound to take advantage of the area's cool lakes and wide open spaces. A video clip recently uploaded to a Facebook group called ‘Alligators of Florida’ shows golfer Michael West preparing to take a shot while an alligator approaches from behind. West repeatedly looks over his shoulder as the giant reptile saunters ever closer. As soon as West takes the shot, the alligator stops and drops into the grass. The gallant golfer, meanwhile, seems unperturbed by the gator and instead watches where his ball wound up.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, there are approximately 1.25 million alligators in the state of Florida, so it's hardly surprising Floridians pay little heed when these prehistoric reptiles turn up in their backyards or join them on the fairways. Of course, human-wildlife conflict is always a concern when it comes to close encounters such as this. Luckily for Mike and his friends, this golfing gator didn’t seem to pose a threat and was simply going about its way. One Facebook user commented on the video, “Thank you for posting this so people can see we can live in peace with these amazing beasties that so deserve our respect.”