To say Florida has a booming alligator population would be an understatement. With an estimated 1.3 million gators in all 67 counties, the Sunshine State is nothing short of a gator’s paradise. They inhabit all bodies of freshwater, including marshes, swamps, rivers, lakes, and, occasionally, swimming pools.
Florida resident Lynn Tosi received the shock of her life last week when she stepped out into her lanai with her dog for a morning dip in the pool only to find that it was already occupied – by a massive 11-foot, 400-pound alligator. “It was definitely an unexpected surprise,” Tosi told ClickOrlando.
For the non-Floridians out there, “lanai” is basically just a fancy word for a covered porch. This one, in particular, was surrounded by a mesh screen on all sides, including the roof. But a thin layer of mesh was little more than a slight annoyance for the alligator, who simply stalked straight through.
“[The alligator] busted right through there, kind of like the Kool-Aid man,” Tosi explained. “I have no idea how long he was here before I noticed him in the morning.”
Her husband, Carlos Tosi, took several photos of the wayward Florida alligator and its subsequent capture before posting the unsettling shots to Facebook.
‘Kool-Aid Man’ Alligator Deemed Nuisance Animal, Euthanized by Florida Wildlife Officials
After the frightening discovery, Tosi and her dog rushed back inside to avoid becoming gator food. The homeowner then informed her husband of their unwelcome visitor and contacted wildlife officials.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers soon arrived at the home and set to work removing the alligator. After hauling it out of the pool, they loaded it on the back of a truck and left the Tosis to enjoy their gator-free pool.
Being longtime Florida residents, the Tosi family are no strangers to alligators. Still, though, they’re a little baffled as to how the gator ended up in their pool. “We see them all the time when we take the dogs out and we try to not take them too close to the water, but we’re like two and a half blocks each way from the water,” Lynn Tosi said.
Unfortunately, because the alligator broke into their home, it was deemed a nuisance animal and subsequently euthanized as a result. This marked the third alligator wildlife officials trapped and euthanized in Volusia County in a single week.
Four days prior, a man in Daytona Beach heard a noise at his front door. Assuming he had a (human) visitor, he opened it without thinking. The Florida man’s visitor wasn’t human at all but crocodilian, the alligator on his front porch lunging toward him before sinking its teeth into his skin.
The very next day, a man in Deltona shot an alligator who broke through his backyard fence and attacked his dog.
Knowing that it could have been much worse, Tosi’s just thankful the alligator stayed in her pool. “If my dogs had been back here, or if my daughter was home from school and she likes to sit out here at night, that would have been terrifying,” she said.