10-Foot Alligator Blocks Plane at Florida Air Force Base

A massive alligator disrupts operations at a Florida air force base, prompting a wildlife rescue. The base's resident gator, Elvis, may have pushed the intruder onto the tarmac.

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Olalekan Adigun
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10-Foot Alligator Blocks Plane at Florida Air Force Base

10-Foot Alligator Blocks Plane at Florida Air Force Base

A nearly 10-foot-long alligator caused a disruption at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, on Monday by wandering onto the tarmac and settling down underneath a tanker plane. The reptile positioned itself between the wheels of a KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft, prompting a response from base personnel and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Footage released by the base showed two FWC officers attempting to wrangle the alligator, which initially put up a fight. The officers placed ropes around the alligator's body, tail, and mouth before successfully capturing and relocating it to the nearby Hillsborough River. "The alligator was likely seeking a nesting spot or exploring its surroundings due to the onset of mating season," the base stated in a Facebook post about the incident.

MacDill Air Force Base made a lighthearted remark about the alligator, referring to it as their "newest toothy Airman" who has been relocated to a more suitable environment off base. The base also thanked the FWC officers for their assistance in removing the reptile without any major incidents or damage to the aircraft.

Why this matters: As Florida's human population continues to grow, there has been an increase in alligator-human interactions across the state. While serious injuries caused by alligators are rare, the public is advised to call the FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline if they have concerns about an alligator's presence.

This incident is not the first time an alligator has caused issues at MacDill Air Force Base. The base is home to a famously large alligator known as Elvis, who has been spotted on numerous previous occasions, particularly on the golf course. In fact, officials believe that Elvis may have pushed the recent alligator away from its usual habitat, leading it to wander onto the flightline. "The alligator was likely 'pushed' out of its home by a larger alligator known to reside in the area, named Elvis," the base explained.

Key Takeaways

  • 10-foot alligator disrupted operations at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.
  • Alligator positioned itself between wheels of a KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft.
  • Wildlife officers successfully captured and relocated the alligator to the nearby Hillsborough River.
  • Alligator-human interactions are increasing in Florida due to growing human population.
  • Officials believe a larger alligator named Elvis may have pushed the recent alligator onto the base.