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Watch a Giant Gator Named 'Chubbs' Scare and Entice Golfers In Florida

Chubbs and colossal, slow-rolling gators like him are beneficiaries of 45 years of alligator conservation.

by Becky Ferreira
Oct 17 2018, 8:23pm

Image: Sage Stryczny

Chubbs cares not for property rights or membership fees. Chubbs has no regard for the successful completion of your golf game. Chubbs will go where Chubbs damn well pleases, because Chubbs is a real, giant American alligator and the Colossus of Buffalo Creek Golf Course in Palmetto, Florida.

The world is getting reacquainted with Chubbs after the alligator, which appears to be about 13 to 15 feet long, made an appearance last Friday at the Palmetto golf course, where the gator lives. Captured in a viral video by Sage Stryczny, who was golfing with his father, Chubbs looks like he walked straight out of the Cretaceous period.

This is not the first time Chubbs has made a media splash at Buffalo Creek. A viral video from 2016 taken by golfer Charlie Helms shows the gator ambling along the course, prompting an internet fan vote to name him Chubbs. Like the newer video, the 2016 footage was met with such disbelief from viewers that it inspired a Snopes article proclaiming that Almighty Chubbs is real.

Chubbs sightings on the course date back to at least 2012. Buffalo Creek Golf Club clerk Wendy Schofield said that for years, visitors have come to the course eager to capture a glimpse of the giant. Alligators like Chubbs frequently live at and around golf courses because they contain amphibious habitats that make ideal homes. The fact that there are no recorded sightings of Chubbs at Moccasin Wallow Golf Club, which is fewer than two miles from Buffalo Creek as the gator waddles, suggests that he prefers to stay put in his home range.

While many onlookers have proclaimed Chubbs to be 15 feet long, he has not been measured. The largest official size record of an American alligator is just a few inches short of 15 feet, so it’s possible Chubbs really is that large.

Read More: Inside Florida’s Alligator Hunting Season

The reason that he seems so much bigger than other gators captured on film could be chalked up to the Endangered Species Act passed in 1973. Like many mega-predators, American alligators faced extinction by the mid-20th century because humans overhunted them.

Gators live for about 50 years in the wild, and can reach 80 years old in captivity. They spend much of their lifespans growing, so older and larger individuals like Chubbs are the payoff of 45 years of conservation policy. Expect to see more of these sauntering giants—especially King Chubbs—in the future.

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