Roaming gator good for business?

— -- A golf course in Florida is expecting a bump in business after pictures of a massive alligator roaming its course has gone viral.

Pictures taken by two members of Myakka Pines Golf Course in Englewood, Florida, were posted to the club's Facebook page on Friday. By Wednesday morning, the pictures had hundreds of thousands of views, said the club's general manager, Mickie Zada.

"We have a lot of alligators around here because there are no houses for miles and it's just open swamp land," Zada told "Our members know that when they see a good one, to take pictures. And they did."

When Dick Huber, a member of the club since 2005, saw the alligator, he snapped a couple of pictures, never imagining the publicity the shots would generate.

"I'm just a little guy, but it's kind of fun to see the exposure we're getting here," Huber told on Wednesday.

Huber says the gators do give the course some charm, but you can't play through when they establish their presence.

"You don't move them, they move you," Huber said. "You have to respect where they want to go."

Huber said the course, which was built on swamp land, was found by the Audubon Society to have 157 different species of birds.

Zada said the club markets the appeal of gator sightings to the public. Golfers can play the course for $75 including a cart, though the club's 400 members get playing-time priority.

"If it's really cold you might not see one," Zada said, "but if there's any sunshine at all, it would be impossible for you to play 18 and not see a gator."

Many on the Internet are asking whether the alligator shots were Photoshopped. Zada found the idea funny because, she said, it's not even the biggest one she's seen.

"We think this gator is 12 or 13 feet," she said. "We had one that lived here for years, his name was Big George, who was probably 15 feet long."

Englewood is located along the west coast of southern Florida by the Everglades, which is prime alligator country.

Zada said the golf course, in its 37 years of operation, has never had an incident between a golfer and a gator. In order to keep its  safety record, the club tells patrons not to feed the gators because that's when they can become more aggressive.

Judging from the pictures, it seems like the gators have had enough to eat.