Hulking alligator found by police on Florida beach… wasn't that

A police officer on night beach patrol in Treasure Island, Florida spotted a large alligator snoozing in the sand. Given that gators are common in the region—although not usually on beaches—the officer cautiously approached the reptile.

Turned out, it was just an impressively-detailed sand sculpture.

From Yahoo! News:

Once the officer discovered it was just sand, he flattened it out for the sake of both people and wildlife, officials said.

May is sea turtle nesting season in Florida, and elaborate sculptures are among the obstructions that can prevent turtles from digging their nests.

"We love the talented people creating works of art in the sand, but with it being turtle nesting season, remember to flatten sandcastles/sculptures before you leave. The sea turtles will thank you," police wrote.