12-foot long alligator surfing waves at Oak Island is 'a regular sight,' officials say
Posted July 27, 2021 2:27 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2021 1:48 p.m. EDT
Oak Island, N.C. — A 12-foot long alligator was spotted surfing the waves at Oak Island near the Ocean Crest Pier on Sunday.
Mike Emory, communications director with the Town of Oak Island, said that it's not odd to see alligators when at the beach during mating season.
"It doesn't usually seem to be an issue," he said.
The alligator did not harm anyone, according to town officials.
"They're kind of normal. They live here. They're a regular sight in the area," Emory said.
The National Ocean Service says that alligators can tolerate salt water for a few hours — or even days — but they primarily are freshwater animals.
The gator was seen underneath the pier, where teens were reported jumping off the weekend, according to the non-profit Oak Island Water Rescue.
"Look at the cute alligator that was seen under one of our piers today," they wrote on Facebook. "If the idea of paralysis and death by drowning isn’t enough to deter pier jumping, perhaps the thought of becoming an alligator snack might be.
Alligators are not a threat to people, unless people feed them, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. You are more likely to get struck by lightning, or win a lottery, than you are to be attacked by alligator, researchers say.
The majority of alligator attacks are caused by people attempting to capture, pick up or feed the alligators, research shows.