Social media photo shows alligator crossing busy Sarasota road ahead of mating season

An alligator was seen recently crossing a road in South Sarasota.

A photo posted to the social media website Facebook shows a gator walking across Honore Avenue just south of Clark Road in Sarasota. As of Tuesday morning, the post had nearly 900 likes, almost 200 comments and over 300 shares.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, alligator mating season occurs in May or June, while April is when gators begin courting each other.

“Females build a mound nest of soil, vegetation, or debris and deposit an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July,” FWC said on its website. “Incubation requires approximately 63-68 days, and hatching occurs from mid-August through early September.”

The American alligator was named Florida’s state reptile in 1987, and the animal is federally protected under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species, according to FWC.