TAMPA (FOX 13) - MacDill Air Force Base is home to some of the country's bravest warriors. But even they made sure to steer clear of one beast who was spotted lurking there Friday.
U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Jake Sherrock says he encountered a giant alligator slowly making its way across the Bay Palms Golf Course at the South Tampa base. In video recorded on his phone, the golfers can be heard marveling at the size of the gator as it crosses the path a few feet in front of them - seemingly unconcerned about the approaching cart.
"That is a monster. An absolute monster," the golfers exclaim in the footage, guessing that the reptile measured at least 12 feet. "This is like a freaking dinosaur, man."
Sherrock, who has been stationed at MacDill for two years, says the gator is known around the base. A golf course official confirmed that, adding that some folks have even given it the nickname "Elvis."
With the base surrounded on three sides by the warm waters of Tampa Bay, course managers noted that there are plenty of signs warning golfers not to approach or feed the gators.
"It's not a surprise we have alligators," the official offered. "They were here before us."
Elvis is not the only giant alligator that likes to hang out on a golf course. Video of a similarly large "dinosaur" at the Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto went internationally viral a few years ago. And while it's not at a golf course, a well-known large gator is a big draw at the Circle-B Bar Reserve in Lakeland.