Alligator caught with football in its mouth is South Florida's 'most valuable predator'

click to enlarge Alligator caught with football in its mouth is South Florida's 'most valuable predator'
Sandra Harrison/Facebook

It's finally clear why Tom Brady came out of retirement: he heard two sets of primordial footsteps coming up from behind.

An enterprising photographer named Sandra Harrison captured this alligator chomping on pigskin in Big Cypress National Preserve, sparking debate over where the gator found it and whether he was playing with the ball or attempting to eat it.

Harrison posted the photo to the gator-watching group Alligators of Florida, wondering about the critter's status. Apparently, they had spotted it twice with the football in its mouth and worried the gator was in a bad situation. Others argued that force of a gator's jaws could easily pop the ball if it wanted to. Many more people took the opportunity to name teams that gator should try out for.

Some folks thought the focus was in the wrong place entirely.

"Everyone worried about the football and not person that was holding it?" wrote one commenter.

For the record, it's alligator mating season from now through June. Now is the time of alligators in predicaments. Florida has around 1.3 million gators, scattered throughout the entire state. If you see one where it's not supposed to be, contact the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

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