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An alligator was caught in the act as he stole a watermelon from a Florida farm. 

The photo, which has gone viral in recent days, was posted on Facebook by the Florida Agricultural Crimes Intelligence Unit, which said that a police officer in Hendry County took the picture.

The area, east of Fort Myers, is largely agricultural and one expert in the state says it's rare to see a gator with a taste for fruit. 

AP reported:

The photo stunned Steve Stiegler, a wildlife biologist in the alligator management program at the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"Um," he said, chuckling. "This would be unusual. Watermelons are not generally part of an alligator's diet."


Alligators are predatory carnivores that eat fish and frogs when they're small.

"As an alligator gets larger, it will eat larger fish, larger vertebrates such as snakes, birds, land mammals that get too close to the water or attempt to swim across the body of water."

Stiegler said locals often toss marshmallows to gators, but that it's illegal. He wondered whether these illegal feedings caused the gator to develop a sweet tooth.

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