There's no denying that alligators are pretty damn cool... or scary... or both. The wooded wetlands surrounding Florida Gulf Coast University make it a vibrant ecosystem, home to a variety of wildlife. As a result, the giant, prehistoric dino-lizards are free to parade around campus like they own the place.
FGCU students and alligators do basically everything together. We eat together, sleep together, and walk to our classes together.
Now before you freak out, the picture above is actually a dead alligator that was found on the side of the road by a student at FGCU. As a prank, the student put the dead gator's corpse in his roommate's bed and took pictures of it.
According to an article on News-Press, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was not amused by the incident at all and left the students involved with a warning.
Although this poor gator's story had been cut short, the species as a whole has been thriving like never before. Alligators went from being near extinction in the '60s to growing a population size of over one million in Florida alone. It is hard to find bodies of water in Florida that aren't home to alligators.
With so many gators, it gets pretty scary to walk around campus. Every time I go to the Cohen Center to grab a bite at Chick-fil-A, I can't help but shake the feeling an alligator will pop out of the lake nearby to grab a bite of me instead.
I know that most alligators are not aggressive and will not prey on humans for food. However, the small portion of encounters with alligators that do end badly make me more cautious and aware of my surroundings.
Just look at the teeth on that thing. Damn nature, U scary.
Regardless, alligators play a big role in our ecosystem and it is important to respect their space. Alligators only have a top speed of 11 miles per hour and are easy for humans to outrun. If you are ever caught in a bad situation with alligators, don't go near them or antagonize them. Contact local police or animal control and try your best to flee from it.