Plane taxis to Orlando gate - after alligator crosses tarmac

Welcome to Florida! Alligator stops plane at Orlando International Airport

Velardi says the Spirit Airlines flight had to wait about five minutes before it could taxi to the gate.

Velardi told the Miami Herald the pilot told passengers to peek out the window. "Looks like someone had TSA PreCheck".

Welcome to Florida, where the alligators greet you at the airport! It shows an alligator, strolling leisurely across the runway.

Airport spokesperson Carolyn Fennell told the media outlet the commercial air facility spans 56.655 square kilometres, with just under a square kilometre of it covered in water.

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The freakish close encounter happened on Monday, according to one passenger, who explained how a Spirit Airlines aircraft, flying in from Washington DC, was "held up" because of the wandering reptile.

Fennell noted alligator sightings do "not happen often", adding "it's a protected species, so it has the right of way". It's not an entirely unexpected sight, as Florida is home to more than a million alligators.

"The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) is administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Division". The frequency of attacks tend to increase during the summer months, which is the mating season for alligators and causes them to get territorial, experts said.

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