In what is the second alligator to be spotted on a Texas beach over the weekend, a 13-foot gator washed up dead on Jamaica Beach near Galveston Sunday, KPRC-TV reports. Several beachgoers posed for pictures with the dead reptile, with some even sitting atop the animal.
One of the beachgoers who took pictures with the animal told Click2Houston she was concerned it might be “playing possum” and might wake up.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department spokesman Steve Lightfoot said the animal was possibly sick or old and had most likely drowned. Lightfoot said that although alligators are freshwater creatures, they will occasionally venture into saltwater to cleanse their hide.
Wildlife officials also said the gator, like the many that have popped up in unexpected places across Texas recently, could have been displaced by recent and severe flooding.
Game wardens came out and removed the carcass. Following the incident, officials recommended avoiding alligators whether they appear dead or alive.