Another day in Florida, another alligator hit by a vehicle.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 27-year-old motorcyclist from Wimauma was traveling westbound on State Road 674 just west of Katie Stanaland in Hillsborough County around 12:28 a.m. Friday. At the same time, a 10-foot, 9-inch alligator was crossing the road in front of him.
The motorcyclist hit the alligator, throwing him from the motorcycle. He landed on the Little Manatee River overpass.
The man was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries. The alligator was listed in critical condition and was picked up by alligator trapper Rob Upthegrove, according to FHP.
FHP said late Friday afternoon the alligator had died.
On Wednesday night in Sarasota County, another alligator was struck and killed by a car on Interstate 75. The driver was hospitalized with minor injuries.
Manatee County trapper Kevin Hibler said there may be a few reasons why alligators are being hit.
“Right now, the alligators are moving around a lot because it’s mating season,” he said.
Another possibility: Dry conditions might be making them seek out water.
If you see an alligator on the road, use caution, Hibler said.
“Like anything else, you try to avoid it,” he said. “They’re hard to see, so you have to be careful.”