An alligator resembling Lockjaw Jones from Spongebob Squarepants was recently spotted in Florida, and it’s apparently “doing alright.”
A May 21 Facebook post from Stacey Lynette, of West Palm Beach, shows an estimated 9-foot gator with what appears to be a very pronounced underbite because of a missing piece of its upper jaw.
“I saw this gator far away and he looked weird to me. I grabbed my camera and sure as sh*t, the whole end of his top jaw is missing,” said Lynette in the post. “The photo quality is crap because he was really far away. By the looks of him, he’s doing alright though.”
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, male gators are more active during mating season, which runs from April through June depending on temperatures.
And, while it’s unclear exactly why this gator is missing a chunk of its jaw, gators are known to fight each other over things like territory and mating rights, and severe injuries, even death, can occur during the tussles. However, gators are incredibly resilient, and can even grow back tails… but not jaws.
Florida has roughly 1.3 million gators, and they can be found in all 67 counties. If you see one where it’s not supposed to be, contact the FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
This story originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.