Huge Alligator Caught on Camera Climbing Over Fence at Florida Navy Base: 'They Don't Respect Our Security Measures'

A large alligator was caught on camera scaling a roadside fence at a Florida Navy base over the weekend—and the resultant footage has caused a stir on social media.

The 11-second clip of the incident was recorded by a local, Christina Stewart, and shared with media outlet WJAX-TV. "There it goes, over the fence," the woman can be heard saying in the video as the alligator flops over the obstruction and continues on its path.

The flexible apex predator was spotted at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville. Base officials told WJAX-TV it would not be removed unless it poses a danger to citizens living nearby.

NAS Jacksonville shared an image from the video on its own Facebook page, attracting hundreds of comments and more than 4,000 shares. The video clip racked up a further 26,000 shares after being uploaded by Florida TV meteorologist Matt Devitt.

"If you are new to Florida or have been here for years, when you see water, assume an alligator could be in it. We have several on the base and they don't respect our security measures. On the serious side, always be aware with small children and pets. Golfers be aware and watch where you stick your hands. Do not approach them ever!" the NAS Jacksonville account posted.

Facebook commenters expressed surprise at the alligator's climbing abilities. One person wrote: "Have mercy! I didn't know they could climb fences!" Another user added: "Unbelievable. Never thought they had that much strength to lift themselves up that far. [I am] glad I live in Ohio."

While not common, a search on YouTube shows alligator climbing has been caught on camera in the past, notably in a South Carolina backyard last year and a Fort Myers golf course in 2016, the same year Florida wildlife officials confirmed an alligator was spotted lurking up a tree.

"I have seen alligators climb six-foot fences before, especially if they don't have a top bar, they can literally lay the fence down and just flop over the other side," Luke Kuhn, an expert at the Everglades Alligator Farm, told WPEC last year when the tree image spread online.

The University of Florida also says in an online fact sheet that alligators are good climbers. Its experts advise: "If you want to keep alligators out of your yard, install a fence that is at least four and a half feet tall. anything lower would not be adequate protection.

"If you do have a close run-in with an alligator that charges at you, run away fast and straight, not zig-zag. It is unlikely an alligator will display this behavior unless you are near its nest."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes that alligator encounters have spiked in recent years due to "tremendous human population growth" in the state, with many people living close to water. The agency now runs a nuisance alligator hotline, which is reached at 866-392-4286.

Earlier this month, a Florida woman was left distraught after an alligator ate her pet dog, named "Tank," as they were out for a morning stroll. The same week, a Florida man was arrested after police pulled him over for a traffic stop and found that he was transporting a live alligator.