During her winter visits to Florida, Marcy Clarius has seen a lot of alligators.
But never as large as the one she saw last week at the Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Fla.
Clarius, who lives in Pennsylvania, spends her winters in a condo about four miles from the wetlands. She ventures over there at least four times a week to walk and take videos and photographs of the birds, turtles and other wildlife — but she's never seen an alligator even close to its size before.
"I couldn't believe it was that big!" she said. "When I first saw it, it looked like it was a gator and another one behind it."
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She says she estimates the alligator is close to 15-feet long — which would break the state record held by a 14 foot, 3.5 inch male spotted in Lake Washington in 2010.
The alligator swimming next to the "monster" is a well-known gator at the wetlands who everyone calls George, Clarius says. She believes it's about 9-feet long.
Clarius says she and her friend measured George using the 6-foot wide boardwalk as a ruler.
"When its nose was at one end, I looked over the other side of the boardwalk and there was still about 3 feet of tail left," she said.
She says everybody thought George was the biggest alligator at Wakodahatchee until this "monster" showed up on Friday.
"I guess we were all mistaken," she said.
Clarius said the crowd first thought they were going to see some "action" when they spotted the large gator approaching George — since mating season officially starts in about a week.
But instead the beast left George alone and hauled itself onto the bank.
That's when they could really tell how enormous it was.
"You could hear everybody saying, 'Oh! I've never seen anything as big as that!'" she said.
Clarius' video of the large gator has been shared on Facebook over 8,000 times.
"It's very exciting to me!" she said. "I don't even have a fancy camera. There are always photographers there with cameras as big as my body — My camera is a point-and-shoot."