Emboldened alligators are asserting themselves along the South Carolina coast as humans stay sheltered from the coronavirus pandemic.
Two incidents were reported in the past few days, both involving gators left to their own devices in areas normally bustling with tourists during Spring Break.
On Wednesday, video posted on Instragram showed an alligator casually strolling amid closed shops at Barefoot Landing in Myrtle Beach. No humans were in sight, giving it free reign to move from one door to the next.
“It appears nature is already beginning to reclaim this little bit of Myrtle beach,” Clifford Sosis says in his video of the moment. “That is a real-life gator hanging out in the middle of this otherwise busy — or usually busy — shopping center. I guess he is planning on going to Christmas Mouse. Pretty crazy.”
The next day, Folly Beach Public Safety said it got complaints of an alligator lounging on the beach. The cops said they called the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, which basically advised doing nothing.
“They said at this time there is nothing they can do and to let nature run it’s course. Because the fewer amount of people in the beach it will not be uncommon to see more wildlife out and about,” Folly Beach officials wrote on Facebook.
Reports have surfaced nationwide of typically shy wildlife taking over streets, parks and beaches while humans are forced to stay indoors due to mandatory stay-at-home orders. Many states have ordered all non-essential businesses to close and restaurants are limited to take-out only.
Coyotes have been photographed prowling the empty streets of San Francisco, geese were recorded puttering around Las Vegas Boulevard and packs of hungry rats have swarmed the French Quarter in New Orleans, McClatchy News reported this week.
The influx of wild animals has been even worse in less populated parts of the world, with video from Thailand showing groups of hungry monkeys brawling in the street and a puma walking the sidewalk of a neighborhood in Santiago, Chile.
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