Bicyclists see 50 alligators swimming at Lake Apopka

Wildlife lovers know the area around Lake Apopka is prime for bird, otter and even bobcat-watching. Alligators also frequent the lake's waters, but a couple of bicyclists captured an unusual sight while on a ride this week.

Around 50 alligators were relaxing in a pond, separated from the lake by the Lake Apopka Trail Loop.

David Politowicz and Dennis Jones, who own Winter Garden Wheel Works, took video of the alligators littering the top of the water.

Politowicz said he and Jones ride the approximately 25 mile loop on a weekly basis, and they often see alligators in the lake, but "this was totally different," he told FOX 13 News. He said seeing that many gators in one place - and removed from the main lake - was something they haven't seen before.

Politowicz said groups like Friends of Lake Apopka have worked to clean the lake and surrounding area of years of runoff pollution left behind by farming operations in the early 1900s. As the environment has improved, so have the habitats for wildlife.

He said many of the public bike trails around the lake were originally roads used by cleanup groups, and then were turned into limestone-paved recreation trails along the norther side of the lake.

Lake Apopka is also a popular spot to which bird-watchers travel from across the state. Stands for wildlife watchers have been set up around the lake, as well.

Politowicz said bass fishing was once a popular draw to the lake, but pollution remains a problem. Maybe the abundance of alligators in the water is a good sign for the health of the water today and in the future.