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Big gator blocks entrance in Myakka River State Park

The large alligator stopped cars and bicycles when it wouldn't budge from the road.
Credit: Michelle Riddle

SARASOTA, Fla. — While alligator sightings may be common in Florida, seeing a big one can still be a bit scary and exciting.

Michelle Riddle got a (safe) up-close look at a large alligator Friday morning. She shared several photos to the Myakka River State Park Facebook group

She said she arrived at the park right when it opened and saw the big guy lying in the middle of the road not far from the main entrance. The alligator's position made it hard for drivers and bicyclists to get by, so it was the perfect opportunity to take a moment to admire the large creature and take a few memorable pictures. Riddle said she didn't get out of her car when she snapped the photos. 

Credit: Michelle Riddle

Riddle said the alligator didn't move until park rangers came in a tractor. "I think the noise of the tractor annoyed him enough to head back into the greenery." 

Credit: Michelle Riddle

Florida Fish and Wildlife that while serious injuries from alligators are rare, they can happen. To prevent "potential conflict," FWC says you should never feed an alligator and keep your distance if you see one. Also, you should only swim in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. And keep pets on a leash and away from the water.

RELATED: Massive alligator strolls across Florida golf course

RELATED: Family captures moment unbothered cat stares down an alligator in Sarasota

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