Huge gator caught on camera

SANDY ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- A South Carolina lawmaker was driving away from Sandy Island in Georgetown County when something walked into the path of his car.

The live road block was an alligator nearly long enough to stretch from one side of a two-lane road to the other.

The gator was headed towards one tree line when it turned around and slowly started to make its way to the other. Once the alligator left the road it slithered slowly into a nearby waterway and away from the view of the camera.

State Rep. Wendell Gilliard says this encounter with a massive gator near Sandy Island was like something out of a movie.

"I thought I was in Jurassic Park, the old movie Jurassic Park. You know because it was standing up on his legs, just parallel across the highway -- it was something to watch," said Gilliard.

Gilliard was behind the wheel when he first spotted what looked like a log. Then he says the log moved.

"I said to her, 'Don't take pictures, don't do that. Do video. If you do that no one will believe us. She went to video and I'm glad she did," said Gilliard.

Just as quickly as his friend was able to take some video, the gator was gone.

"It slowed down and just lowered its leg near the grass and the next step it was back in the marsh where it came from," he said.

Gilliard says the entire experience lasted about three minutes.

Ron Russell of Gator Getter Consultants says it's mating season for the gators and a delayed season because the spring started out so cold.

"That gator was probably in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 foot, somewhere in there. It's hard to tell by photos because you have nothing to relate it to," said Russell.

Russell suspects the gator in the video was probably just sunning himself.

"That gator looked like there was a marshy area on the right, he very easily could have came out to the black top to get warmed up quicker," said Russell.

Russell says Gilliard did the right thing. He took pictures from a distance and waited for the gator to get out of the way.

The encounter came near the beginning of the South Carolina alligator hunting season application process. Open season for alligator hunting in South Carolina is Sept. 13 - Oct. 11.