Well that’s a little embarrassing…
Police officers patrolling a beach near Tampa, Florida called Treasure Island were stunned when they spotted a nearly 12-foot-long alligator resting on the sandy beach in the dark of night.
They were even more surprised when they found out the menacing alligator that spooked them turned out to be a realistic sand sculpture of a gator that someone had left behind.
The event happened back on the evening of May 11th and of course alerted the cops who were walking along the beach. They shot a picture of one of the officer’s inspecting the “sand art” before they themselves flattened it to the ground.
If you are like me and wondering “why would they ruin such a nice piece of art that probably took hours to make,” it was apparently for the safety and convenience of sea turtles in the area.
The removal, or destruction, of the sand alligator was in the best interest of sea turtles attempting to go about their nesting patterns, as well as making sure no other beach goers would be scared by the realistic piece of art.
In Florida, sea turtle nesting season falls between the months of March and October, and apparently leaving large impediments (such as the sand alligator) can make the process of digging their nests more difficult for the slow sea turtles (first paper straws, now this, thanks a lot sea turtles).
The hilarious Facebook post from the Treasure Island Police Department reads:
“Crikey! Look at the size of that gator one of our officers tried rounding up on Treasure Island Beach last night!
Ok, it wasn’t a real gator, it was just a crafty crafted sand sculpture. Oh, that reminds us.
We love the talented people creating works of art in the sand, but with it being turtle nesting season, remember to flatten sandcastles/sculptures before you leave.
The sea turtles will thank you!”
Comments below the Facebook post from concerned (and comical) citizens regarding the sand alligator are definitely worth the read:
“Oh my Gosh, for a second there, my breath left my body! Lol!”
“Glad to see you guys are hard at work…”
“I saw the guy working on this Friday morning. It was so realistic looking. He used seaweed to give it that dark green color.”
“Seeing more and more of them and they’re not so little. It’s really kind of scary, especially if you have little kids or animals!”