7-foot alligator stuns beachgoers in South Carolina

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7-Foot Alligator Spotted On South Carolina Beach

As if families hitting up the beaches of South Carolina didn't already have enough to worry about with sharks -- now they have a new reason to avoid the water.

A 7-foot alligator was caught catching waves at a crowded Pawleys Island, South Carolina -- just south of Myrtle Beach.

Witnesses say the gator kept getting out of the water and then going back in...until police came in and ruined the fun.

See pictures of the big creature:

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Gator on the beach in SC
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7-foot alligator stuns beachgoers in South Carolina
A 7-foot alligator is caught catching waves at a crowded Pawleys Island beach in South Carolina. (Photo via Reiner Hengst)
A 7-foot alligator is caught catching waves at a crowded Pawleys Island beach in South Carolina. (Photo via Reiner Hengst)
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Officers and an independent contractor managed to tie up this beast that was flailing around all over the place.

Alligators are freshwater animals, but according to the NOAA they can tolerate salt water for up to a few days.

Officials say it was likely flushed out to sea from its natural habitat during a heavy storm.

The police chief says that they see about two alligators visiting the beach every year because young gators get caught in the current.

The gator was turned over to a private company to be release back out into the wild.

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