April 11 (UPI) -- Pet owners rushed to get their dogs out of the water at a Florida beach when an unexpected guest, a large alligator, swam up to the shoreline.
Andrew Walker said the alligator swam up to the beach at Tampa's Picnic Island dog park last week and quickly caused a panic,
"Everyone pulled their dogs out of the water and watched as this gator cruised the shoreline for about an hour," Walker told WTVT-TV. "You don't see that at the beach everyday."
Wildlife officials said alligators are currently in their mating season, making them more active and more likely to wander into areas occupied by humans -- and dogs. Alligators have been removed from front yards, pools and other inconvenient locations in recent days.