A lifeless alligator sprawled across a busy road in Chalmette, LA was the cause of a multi-vehicle accident earlier this week.

Photos of the alligator spread on social media, causing skeptics to debate whether it was real or just another Photoshop or AI job.

As it would turn out, the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed that the alligator was very real, causing an accident that occurred around 6:30 a.m. on the 5400 block of Paris Road. According to spokesperson Kim Gritter, the alligator had died before the accident and was not struck by vehicles. The scene quickly escalated when a driver, distracted by the sight of the unusually large reptile, caused a pileup that sent another car swerving off the road and into a nearby bayou.

According to NOLA.com, local witnesses and businesses were taken aback by the chaos sparked by the deceased gator. Kayden Koffler, an employee at Gulf South Automotive, described the alligator as "pretty decent-sized," noting that its presence alone was enough to distract a northbound driver who slowed down for a closer look. This action led to the subsequent swerve and crash by the following vehicle.

Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported from the incident. Parish officials responded promptly, employing a crane truck to remove the alligator from the median, while a Chalmette towing company retrieved the submerged vehicle. Aces Towing and Auto Sales, the company involved, later remarked on social media, humorously downplaying the size of the alligator but acknowledging its impact on the morning traffic.

The photo of the gator, posted in numerous local Facebook groups, sparked a mix of concern and disbelief among locals, as debates had initially swirled about the authenticity of such a large alligator being in the area. This incident follows closely on another alligator-related encounter in Algiers, where an 8-and-a-half-foot-long alligator was discovered in a residential yard and safely relocated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Authorities have not disclosed further details about the incident or the alligator's origin. While the conversation largely surrounds the shock due to the size of the gator, the real dangers posed by wildlife on roadways in south Louisiana are very real, and another reason why motorists should always pay close attention and avoid all distractions while driving.

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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