Couple finds 8-foot alligator taking dip in pool

After hearing a noise, the couple discovered an 8-foot alligator was the culprit. (CNN/WWSB)

BRADENTON, Fla. (CNN/WWSB) — A Bradenton couple says they caught an uninvited guest swimming in their pool before daylight.

After hearing a noise, the couple discovered an 8-foot alligator was the culprit.

Sharon Bente thought the noise she was hearing just after 4 a.m. Thursday was a thunderstorm blowing chairs around her screened-in porch.

“So when I came out to the patio to explore, I saw something that is not usually in the pool — along with the little floaty,” said Sharon. “And it turned out to be an 8-foot alligator.”

She was shocked to see the pool-crasher, but she only had one thought in mind.

“Can I get back to the door without it seeing me or realizing I’m bait?” said Sharon, who went right inside and woke up her husband John.

“[She] said, ‘We have a gator in our pool’ to me,” he said. “And of course, I didn’t know what she was talking about. I was still half-sleeping.”

The gator ended up in the couple’s pool after crashing through a section of screen.

“And he was just swimming around in circles,” said John. “I think he was a little intimidated with everybody watching, too.”

The Bente’s called the sheriff’s department, which notified a trapper to remove the 8-foot-3 ½-inch gator.

“It was quite an evening, quite an evening,” said John.

The couple hopes it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“I’m sure there are more alligators, and I’m sure I’m going to be sleeping with at least one eye open for a while,” said John.

“And it turns out, we just had a few screens that needed repairing,” said Sharon. “And it is a great story. It is a fun story, and hopefully, it just won’t happen again.”

Neighbors say alligators have been using this neighborhood for years as a cut-through between the Braden River and a neighborhood lake.

As for the fate of Bente’s gator, she has been transported to a gator farm in Arcadia. 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. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. 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