This 7.5-foot gator was rescued from the surf on a South Padre Island beach, video shows.

This 7.5-foot gator was rescued from the surf on a South Padre Island beach, video shows.

Jake Reinbolt/Screengrab Video

Rescuers became aware of an alligator spending days on a beach in Texas when beachgoers began sharing videos of the large reptile on the sand.

Shortly thereafter, the South Padre Island Bird and Alligator Sanctuary partnered with a Texas game warden to rescue a 7.5-foot alligator from the shore.

“Obviously alligators don’t belong on the beach,” one lifeguard said. “They don’t really like to surf, so it was a public safety issue and also (dangerous) to the alligator’s health.”

Jacob Reinbolt, a herpetologist with the Alligator Sanctuary, told ValleyCentral that it exhausting alligators who “must fight the surf.”

“He was fighting the waves for who knows how long before anyone even noticed him,” Reinbolt told the broadcaster. “By the time we got him, he was exhausted. So it was definitely a lifesaver.”

Reinbolt shared a video of lifeguards pulling the gator from the waves as they washed ashore.

A 25-second video posted on Facebook is shown the alligator fights backflip many times and finally reach the sand safely.

The male alligator was taken to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, where it was released into “appropriate habitat,” according to the alligator sanctuary.

It is unclear how and why the alligator went to the beachbut one of the rescuers suggested that it may have been pushed there during a recent storm.

And while alligators don’t like salt water or rough surf, Reinbolt said “the most likely scenario is that he was out looking for food and he kind of got swept away in the surf,” according to ValleyCentral.

South Padre Island is located off the southern coast of Texas, bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Caitlin Alanis is a reporter for McClatchy National Real-Time who lives in Kansas. She is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism.