Florida’s famous alligator named “Chubbs” may have some competition.
A “monster” gator in — dubbed “Fabio” — has been turning heads as it has been spotted strolling around a park in Polk County.
The gator, which many witnesses claim to be at least 13 feet long, has been going viral since a South Carolina woman Suzy Griffin Paul snapped a short video of the creature crossing a path just feet away from her at Circle B Bar Reserve (1,267 acres of protected land) in Lakeland in late December.
Paul’s roughly 25-second clip of the gator has garnered more than 1.2 million views on Facebook as of Jan. 7.
“Big Gator at Circle B today!!!!” Paul captioned the video, which drew nearly 20,000 reactions and 2,000 comments from shocked viewers.
Many agreed, the alligator was quite a sight.
“Omg I saw this! That thing is a monster,” one Facebook user commented.
“That thing is a dinosaur!!!!” another echoed.
“Gator? That’s a creature from hell,” one user added.
“Ummm …yeah two words “RUN AWAY!” He looks like he just ate a family of 6… RUN!” a woman advised.
Paul said she first noticed the giant gator as it swam alongside a path she was walking on with her husband.
“This huge gator that they call Fabio swims right up and stops in front of us in the water and we realize he wants to cross the path,” Paul told WTSP. “So we all back up away and give him space.”
So, Paul patiently waited as the gator exited the marsh, pulling out her cell phone to capture footage of the unbelievable view.
“He was really big and it was an exciting thing to watch. It was our first time getting to see a gator actually cross the path at Circle B,” she added.
The Sunshine State is no stranger to large gators.
There are about 1.2 million alligators living in the state, according to Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife. However, the organization notes, the population of the large crocodilian reptile has been shifting northward in recent years.
“Unlike the crocodile, the alligator has a broad head. The alligator uses its powerful tail to propel itself through water. The tail accounts for half the alligator’s length,” Defenders describes on its website. “While alligators move very quickly in water, they are generally slow-moving on land. They can, however, move quickly for short distances.”