Family wakes up to find 9-foot alligator in their swimming pool

A family in Florida woke up to a terrifying surprise on Monday morning, when they discovered an uninvited guest in their back yard. Resting in the swimming pool of their home in Palm Beach Gardens (around 79 miles north of Miami), was a nine-foot-long alligator.

Senta Evans was going through her morning routine in the Marlwood Estates community on Graemoor Terrace when she found the reptile. She was just about to release her dogs into the garden when she froze, realising there was a 300 lb alligator at the bottom of her pool.

Evans immediately got in contact with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which promptly organised for a wildlife handler from nearby to visit the property.

After 20 minutes of trying to pull the creature out of the pool, the handler eventually removed it, before a neighbour helped him to life the alligator into the back of his pickup truck so that it could be relocated.

The family had used the pool one day prior to that morning surprise, and were baffled as to how it could have entered the back yard. The handler speculated that it could have crawled under one section of the chain link fence, but this hasn't been confirmed.

Neighbour Vanessa Schulz explained to WPTV that she was walking her children to the bus stop about 7:15 am on April 8 when she heard that there was an alligator in her neighbour's pool.

"It was big, really big," she said. "I was totally in panic. When I saw the alligator I was scared."

The neighbour caught the removal of the alligator on video

Schulz has lived in Marlwood Estates for three years, and said that she had seen an alligator in the area once before, when it was spotted in a lake last year behind her property. Both experiences have given her reason to worry about the safety of her children playing in the area.

"It totally concerns me. So now I’m scared and I don’t want to leave my kids outside playing in the backyard. I also need to check the pool and check before going outside the house. It concerns me. I don’t feel protected anymore

In a tweet posted last year, the FWC wrote made some recommendations for those living in areas such as this. “Living with alligators safety tip," they wrote earlier this month, "never feed an alligator and keep your distance if you see one."

“Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours and keep pets on a leash and away from the water,” the FWC added on its website.

Fortunately, no one was injured during the capture of the alligator, which was safely removed by the FWC handler. This alligator is set to be relocated to a farm in the area of Lake Placid, 93 miles northwest of where this incident occurred.