This teenager was in the exact wrong spot. He took over the entire trail and was facing into the wetlands, not the water.
The only reason it mattered was a couple from out of town were hiking and really had to get down this trail. If you are from away, a 3 foot (1m) Alligator in your path, with open jaws, can cause some concern.
To help I walked up to the gator, did the foot stomp and shuffle, finally a clap, and got his attention. A low hiss, but he turned around and headed towards the water, a peaceful resolution.
I was a little too close for a full shot here.
Above you can see he did turn and move the other direction. However, he took about 3 stubby little steps, lay down, fell right back asleep.
The good news, he pulled his tail up so no one stepped on it walking by.
Another ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ moment.