Video: 9-foot gator breaks into Florida family’s pool

(Courtesy: Laura Lear)

LAKELAND, FL  (WFLA) – It was a frightening discovery in one Florida 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. 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.

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