WATCH: Alligator takes dip in Lakeland family’s pool

Photo courtesy Laura Lear

LAKELAND, Fla.  (WFLA) – It was a frightening discovery in one Polk County neighborhood — A 9-foot, 300-pound alligator in the backyard swimming pool.

Craig Lear tells News Channel 8 he came home from work around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and went to let the cats out in their screened-in pool area.  He didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary since the family pool has a dark bottom to it; the perfect place for the gator to just blend in.

Photo courtesy Laura Lear

Lear became suspicious when he saw bubbles floating up to the surface. That’s when he realized there was an alligator at the bottom.

Laura Lear quickly pulled out her phone and began videotaping the incident. In the video you can see that the gator was clearly not giving up without a fight as it wrested with a trapper.

“This is something I see on the news,” Laura said. “Not in my backyard. I saw him and I was like that’s no gator, that’s a big gator.”

“It startled me at first but I knew it wasn’t going to attack me,” Craig said.

Photo courtesy Laura Lear
Photo courtesy Laura Lear

The couple believes the alligator came from the lake that’s behind their house and busted right through the screen.

It’s a scare for them, but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission officials and trappers see it all the time.

“It’s not a surprise an alligator wound up in a swimming pool,” Gary Morse said.

He says it’s a little too early for mating season which begins at the end of the month. But, it’s warm right now and the gators are active, he said.

Still, it’s a startling reminder to Laura Lear who now knows first-hand that the gators were on her property. They were there before the Lears moved in. “We are in gator-land,” she said. “I mean we are on their turf.”

News Channel 8 wanted to know if there have been any similar problems in that neighborhood before. We’re told alligators get out of the lakes all the time. They just don’t typically end up in someone’s pool.


Blue_download_app_button provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s