A massive alligator walks around the Venice neighborhood on Easter Sunday

Sarasota County deputies think it’s entirely possible the Easter Bunny avoided a neighborhood in Venice after a huge alligator was spotted.

Deputies estimated he was around 10ft long when they saw him strolling around the Lake Harrington community in Venice on Sunday. Deputies followed the large reptile as it slowly roamed the neighborhood.

“Boy, he took his time getting back to the lake he came from. (…We can’t blame him just thinking about how heavy that tail is)” according to a Facebook post.

The agency said it contacted state wildlife officials, but wanted to let visitors and residents know that the alligator was likely still swimming in the neighborhood lake.

Not so long ago, another large alligator – this one had no legs – was wandering around Venice and was seen stopping traffic to cross a street.

He even crawled under a driver’s van, shaking the vehicle as he drove to the other side.

State officials say it’s a good reminder that alligator mating season is upon us, which means the males are on the move.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), mating usually takes place in May or June. Females typically form nests in August and September, where they then lay an average of between 30 and 50 eggs in late June or early July. Hatching takes place from August to September.

“If you see an alligator, leave it alone, give it its distance,” Costell said.

While it’s important to give an alligator its distance all year round, it’s especially important during mating season. FWC reminds people to swim only in designated areas during the day and to keep pets out of fresh or brackish water.

Alicia R. Rucker