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This three-legged alligator briefly stole the limelight when it hobbled across the fairway at a top US golf tournament.

Staff at the Zurich Classic event in New Orleans looked on anxiously as the reptile nonchalantly strolled into the rough and through a bunker.

The battle-scarred creature even decided to take a rest on the green as the golfers played on around it.

It was one of a number of alligators to make an uninvited appearance during the event.

Louisiana has the largest population of alligators in the US, with hundreds of thousands of the reptiles living in swamps across the state.

The creatures are also found in Florida and in the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, South and North Carolina, eastern Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma and the southern tip of Arkansas.

Luckily for the golfers, humans are not high up the alligator's list of favourite foods - with large fish such as gar, turtles, various mammals, particularly nutria and muskrat, as well as birds, deer and other reptiles their most commons prey.

Attacks on human are few, but not unknown, and usually occur if an alligator feels threatened.

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