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Massive alligator casually strolls into internet stardom

A honking huge gator in Florida takes nature fans by surprise and racks up the views on Facebook.

If you live in the US state of Florida, you live in a world full of alligators. The large reptiles are known to reside at the Circle B Bar Reserve nature preserve near Lakeland. That's where Facebook user Kim Joiner encountered a particularly gigantic representative of the species when it sauntered across her path on Sunday. Her video of the event is now a Facebook hit.

The original video from Joiner pulled in thousands of shares and reactions, but a version posted to the local Lakeland Police Department Facebook page went truly nuts with nearly 600,000 views. "Who Says Dinosaurs Are Extinct?" wrote the department.

What makes this such an eye-opener is the sheer size of the alligator along with its laid-back I'm-just-out-for-a-stroll appearance. This isn't the first Florida gator to excite the internet. Last year, we marveled over an excruciatingly large reptile out for a low-key walk across a golf course.

As with any wildlife encounter, this is a good time to remember that people should stay far away from dangerous creatures. The Circle B Bar Reserve site notes, "Alligators inhabit Lake Hancock and may be observed at a distance from shore or from a pier." The big gator is one internet celebrity we should just leave alone.

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