TAMPA, Fla. — Nothing says you're in Florida like being stuck in traffic for nearly 10 minutes because a giant alligator decided to cross the road during rush hour traffic.
Amen Bashir, 34, captured the unbelievable moment on video Thursday evening while sitting at the intersection of Williams Road and East Martin Luther King Boulevard in Tampa. He later shared the now-viral video on TikTok.
The Tampa native, known as FlaNative88 on TikTok, told 10 Tampa Bay he simply couldn't believe what he saw and had to capture it in the clip that now has over one million views.
"I was speechless when I saw such a large alligator just casually strolling across the street," Bashir said. "It was unreal to say the least."
He said a Hillsborough County deputy, who had been patrolling the area nearby, stopped traffic in both directions to let the gator safely cross to a large lake on the other side of the road.
The alligator made it to the lake and traffic returned to normal.
In more alligator news, earlier this month a Clearwater police officer wrangled a 5-and-a-half-foot gator that was hanging in the backyard pool of a Countryside area home.
Officer Kyle Bingham captured the gator and later released it into the nearby Lake Chautauqua.
According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, there are about 1.3 million alligators in Florida. Generally, an alligator may be considered a nuisance if it's at least 4 feet long and believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property. If you’re concerned about an alligator, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR.