South Carolina

One Gator removed from the surf on Hilton Head beach; another from a Sea Pines’ pool

An alligator was pulled from a Sea Pines’ pool Friday, and on Sunday one was removed from the ocean surf in front of the resort’s beach club.

Shore Beach Services Operations Manager Mike Wagner said the gator was spotted in the ocean about 10 a.m. Sunday. He said “It was tiny” at about three feet.

Wagner said his staff assisted Sea Pines staff with the removal of the gator.

He said gators make their way to Hilton Head beaches several times a year and typically show up after heavy rains..

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Spokesman Robert McCullough said alligators live in fresh water and the salt in the ocean “affects them negatively”.

The salt often times makes alligators ill and more docile by the time they wash up on a beach.

“It is more visually upsetting than it is anything else,” McCullough said.

Gators on Hilton Head beaches make the news about once a year. Last year, a four-foot alligator was pulled from the ocean between South Forest Beach and Sea Pines Beach Club. In 2014, a 12-foot gator walked out from the surf at about mile marker 10 on South Forest Beach.

On Friday, tourists from Buffalo, New York took video as a gator was pulled out of the pool at Plantation Club Villas in Sea Pines Resort.

Golfers on Long Cove Club’s Pete Dye golf course also were surprised by a 10-foot-long alligator walking across the course late last month.

Alligators move around most when they’re mating from mid-April through May, according to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.

Especially during mating season, the laboratory suggests you keep your distance.

“Although they may look slow and awkward, alligators are extremely powerful and can move with a startling burst of speed on land over short distances,” according to its alligator guide.