So, remember that #gator call we went on earlier? Here’s some video as the trapper pulled him from the swimming pool. Did we mention he measured 11 feet long?! #TweetFromTheBeat #NeverADullMoment #OnlyInFlorida pic.twitter.com/s3DtK3xzPR
— SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) March 31, 2018
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office does what it calls, ‘TweetFromTheBeat’ where it documents calls on its Twitter account. The calls range from car stops and DUI’s to, well, gators in pools.
The first tweet about the 11-foot alligator that had broken though a screened lanai to get to a pool simply said, “Just no.”
Later, the SCSO posted a short but vivid video of the gator after a trapper helped it make its exit.
#ThisJustIn: The 11-foot intruder didn’t gracefully make his way through an open door. He decided instead, to bust right through the screen. ? #CantMakeThisStuffUp
The uninvited pool guest showed up at the home of Patrica Carver in the south Sarasota County village of Nokomis.
Carver and her husband told WFLA that they were awoken by the sound of the alligator breaking into their home. Patricia Carver said her husband “opened the curtain and saw the head of a gator and said, ‘Call 911, call 911!’”
Deputies called in a wild animal trapper who managed to get the massive gator out of the pool.
The Carver’s speculated that “low water levels in local lagoons may have played a role in the alligator taking a dip in her pool,” according to WFLA
But it also happens to be mating season for alligators.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says alligators are rarely larger than 10 feet, but males can grow larger. The Sarasota gator was at least 11 feet, SCSO deputies tweeted. The largest officially recorded, length-wise, was 14 feet and 3 1/2 inches. The heaviest weighed in at 1,043 pounds. Those are the official FFWC numbers. The American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, legend and memory has it, can grow as large as 15 feet or more. Male alligators make a bellowing sound during mating season and are looking for female alligators, not humans. And females are looking for males. In fact, in recent days there has been no shortage of close encounters with gators in unusual locations in Florida.
A family in New Tampa woke up to Friday to a 7-foot female gator in their yard.
A gator was seen roaming a strip mall in Flagler Beach.
And no one can forget this alligator on a Manatee County golf course.
Alligators rarely attack humans but when they do the result is often fatal. Since the turn of this century, there have been 19 people killed by alligators all but three in Florida and of those, the vast majority were killed while in or very close to bodies of water.
The most horrific and tragic was the death of Lane Graves, 2, who was dragged into the water and drowned by a gator at the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Bay Lake, Florida in 2016. Matt Graves tried to rescue his son but was attacked by another alligator. Kane’s mother and sister witnessed the attack. Disney did not have alligator caution signs at the man-made lagoon.
And while public swimming areas are often either patrolled for gators or warning signs are posted, any fresh or even brackish body of water in Florida could have alligators. Floridians know. Including big mud puddles.
And because SCSO has a good sense of humor …