Driver and passenger to be charged
When first responders are called to a car wreck, they can never be sure what they'll be confronted by at the scene.
On December 17, officers from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission were called to the scene of a car-wreck to be greeted by the sight of two gators hanging from the windows of the SUV which had turned on its side!
The reptiles were extracted from the vehicle by officers who noted that the vehicle also contained two humans - the driver and their passenger. Tape was placed around the gators' mouths as a safety precaution.
It was later realized that the animals weren't just stunned, but actually already dead. The episode was shared on social media as the commission's 'case of the week':
The two humans in the vehicle later admitted that they'd killed the animals illegally while on a fishing trip, and were transporting them home when the road traffic incident occurred. They're now being charged by police.
A big year for gators online
Gators are an accepted part of life in the sunshine state, but they've appeared in the news quite often in recent months.
Perhaps the most notable incident of the year was when a tweet went viral in September, featuring a Florida man successfully capturing a gator on his driveway while wearing socks and slides, using his overturned trashcan to catch and contain the reptile.
Then in October there was another incident - this time in South Carolina - where an enormous gator was captured on video, eating another gator in an apparent episode of reptile cannibalism! The tweet went viral again.
Gator attacks on humans are rare
It seems that the humans involved in this incident were actually the dangerous predators. Alligator attacks in the USA are rare, even though the reptiles are widespread throughout various of the southern states.
A 2005 study reported that there had been just 376 alligator attacks since 1948. In Florida, gator attacks were on the increase from around 6 per year in 1971 to around 10 per year between 1987 and 2017. The numbers involved are still relatively small given the ferocious nature of alligators and how dangerous they appear.
There have been just 23 deaths in Florida from alligators between 1948 and 2016. Compared to the 51 people who've died from being struck by lightning in Florida over the same period and the number of attacks by gator on human seems quite small.
Have you ever had any close or dangerous encounters with gators? Let me know in the comments section below.