Hiker Stops Dead In His Tracks As 'Monster' Alligator Crosses Path

"He's like a dinosaur!"

The other day, Ken Bergquist decided to take a hike along the Circle B nature reserve in Florida. Having been there many times before, Bergquist knew there was a good chance he’d spot some alligators lounging in the reserve’s lake and surrounding marshes.

“I’ve seen many in the water or laying in the sun,” Bergquist told The Dodo. “I've been going to Circle B for about a year and a half, two or three times a week.”

Ken Bergquist

There was something Bergquist hadn’t expected to see, however.

The reserve’s most massive alligator — named Fabio — out for a stroll.

Ken Bergquist

While Bergquist and others looked on, the massive animal emerged from the water to cross their path.

“He’s a monster — 12 feet long. Maybe a few inches more,” Bergquist said. “This was my first time seeing him walking. He’s like a dinosaur!”

Bergquist captured that stunning moment on video:

Ken Bergquist

For Bergquist, spotting Fabio’s incredible heft on display was nothing short of humbling.

“It’s always incredible to see [an alligator] cross, but one like Fabio is just awe inspiring,” Bergquist said. “He's definitely at the top of the food chain.”

Ken Bergquist

Given Fabio's impressive length, he's estimated to be over 36 years old, though his lineage as a species dates back far longer — some 245 million years, indeed, to the time of dinosaurs. At the Circle B nature reserve, they remain unchallenged in their strength and beauty.

"I enjoy all the wildlife out there," Bergquist said. "But for me, the gators are the stars."