Officials say 12 foot gator spotted this weekend is very rare - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Officials say 12 foot gator spotted this weekend on beach is very rare

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GARDEN CITY, SC -

Plenty of beach goers whipped out their cameras Sunday, June 2nd when they noticed a gator just hanging out on the sand. 

The gator made it's way to shore about 4 blocks south of the Garden City Pier.  There were no reports of anyone getting hurt.  

Related story: Myrtle Beach man catches 8-foot gator in his backyard

D.N.R. officials captured the approximately 12 foot gator and removed it from the beach for safety purposes.

This is the time of year where alligators start to breed. What happens is the dominant male gator will chase the small young alligators and they will leave the pond searching for a new habitat until breeding season is over.

Brenda Magers is the park manager at the Huntington Beach State Park. She said alligators don't see people as food.

"Are general size shape behavior is not prey like to them and really the only alligator that is dangerous to people is one that is being threatened and one that is being feed," said Magers.

Magers said that's the only time you will see an alligator approach a human because in reality she said they are afraid of us.

"Stay away from the alligator. Do not try to catch it or harness it in any capacity. It could strike from side to side and you could get hurt. It is actually illegal to touch or harass an alligator," said Dean Cain, Regional biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Cain said if a community has a problem with a particular alligator, he can issue a permit to have it removed. But if the permit is issued and DNR comes to remove it, it will be killed.

"It's important for people to understand that if an individual calls us about an alligator they have on a property I can talk to them about issuing a permit to have it removed but the alligator has to be destroyed because we can't relocate alligators from one area to another that has problems because they'll cause problems there too," said Cain.

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