PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (CNN) — A Florida family found a big, dangerous party crasher in their swimming pool Monday morning: an alligator.
This wasn’t just any gator — it was a whopping 9 feet long.
“We live on the edge of the Everglades, so I know anything is possible here,” said homeowner Senta Evans.
Just after sunrise, Senta Evans scanned her yard as she always does before letting out the family’s two dogs.
The sight of a massive, 9-foot alligator resting at the bottom of their pool stunned her.
“I was like ‘Mike, there’s a gator in the pool,’” she said.
Her husband, Mike Evans, assumed he’d see a 2- or 3-foot creature and was taken aback by what he saw.
The Evanses, who had just used the pool the day before, called Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
“The trapper came out here with some gear to get a 6-foot alligator out and said ‘That thing’s 9 feet’ and went back and got bigger gear. It was kind of nuts,’ Mike Evans said.
Working alone, the trapper hooked the gator and raised it out of the shallow end of the pool, while the family, watching in amazement, captured it all on video. In the midst of this unusual scene, Mike told other parents at the bus stop about his family’s unexpected encounter, and what ensued was a pied piper-like following.
“I showed them some pictures and next thing I know there’s a caravan following me here to watch this thing happen, kids and everything. It was pretty funny,” he said.
The Evans family says the trapper told them the gator may have come in under the chain-link fence that surrounds their backyard, but he couldn’t say for sure.
Mike and Senta say it took about 20 minutes for the trapper to remove the gator. The Evanses say the trapper told them the gator would be relocated.
This episode made Mike and Senta’s son, Ronan, a seventh-grader, a little late for school.
But the story he planned to tell his friends would be much better than the “dog ate my homework.”
“I’m just going to take out my phone and be like ‘Hey guys, this morning was great, I woke up and I saw this,’” Ronan said.
The family says in the 12 years they’ve lived there, they’ve seen alligators in the area, but never on their own property.
They say they’ll keep enjoying their backyard and the pool, but they will be on the lookout for any unwanted visitors.