Having disappeared from sight for over two years, everyone’s favorite giant reptilian – Chubbs the alligator – is back in our lives. Hurray!
While Chubbs wouldn’t look out of place stomping through the foliage of Jurassic Park, he’s very much real, and can usually be found creeping up on unsuspecting golfers. From tail to snout he measures a whopping 4.9 meters (16 feet) – pretty much as big as an American alligator can get. He's a true Goliath of the crocodilian world.
American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) can be found in and around freshwater lakes, rivers, and swamps in the southeastern US, particularly in Florida and Louisiana. They will eat pretty much anything that comes their way, including fish, snakes, mammals, and turtles. No wonder Chubbs has gotten so big.
He was last seen in 2016 on the Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto, Florida, which is exactly where he was spotted this time around. Sage Stryczny was golfing with his dad when he saw the massive gator sauntering across the green about 15 meters (50 feet) away. Luckily for us, he managed to capture Chubbs on video.
Stryczny told local news broadcaster WLFA that his immediate reaction was “Holy crap, that’s a monster gator on the green.”
Still, golfers gotta golf, so Stryczny and his dad continued their game as normal.
“We were trying to golf, so we were within 50 feet of him after we hit our shots,” he said. “It was definitely a cool sight to see.”
Despite his gnarly appearance, Chubbs is welcomed by golf course staff, who say he’s good for business as people like doing a spot of gator-watching as they wander down the fairway. Chubbs is a pretty chilled-out guy, so as long as people keep a safe distance, he’s not much of a threat. According to Stryczny, he took quite a few breaks as he wandered from pond to pond.
It seems that Chubbs has won the hearts of both golfers and the Internet, with one avid fan even making him a movie star.
American alligators once walked alongside dinosaurs, and have been on our planet for about 150 million years. They've earned some golf downtime.