‘They wanted to keep it as a pet’: Dunedin family finds baby gator swimming in pool


DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) – As Floridians, we expect to see an alligator roaming around or sunning itself from time to time, but one family in Dunedin found a small gator making itself at home in their pool over the weekend.

Barak Granot and his family were finishing dinner on Saturday evening when they discovered the animal.

“And at the end of the meal, my 4-year-old son said, ‘hey look at the lizard!’ and he ran outside,” Granot said. “Normally I don’t get so excited because [there are] a lot of geckos around. But my wife went after him and she saw we have a gator in the swimming pool.”

He said he grabbed his phone right away to document the strange incident.

The family was surprised the gator got there in the first place.

“We didn’t have any thought, any worry that something like that can happen because we don’t live near a lake. We have a lake maybe about a mile from us and it’s a very nice and spacious residential area, so it has to go quite a while to get to us if it comes from the lake,” Granot said.

In addition to that, the family has a fence around the home and a lanai. Granot found a small gap between the ground and the screen where the gator got in, in search of the cool water.

He called 911 and was connected to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

“They came pretty fast you know, with the trappers, and in a minute the alligator was outside. They taped his snout so that the kids could pet it and stuff like that,” he said.

Granot’s children were the most excited about the gator.

“Actually, they wanted to keep it. They were very upset with me that I called the sheriff’s office to take it away. They wanted to keep it as a pet,” he said. “Obviously, the sheriff’s office took it right away and they released it somewhere in one of the lakes that has already some alligators, I don’t know which one, but they were very effective and very fast.”

Granot will inspect the pool more carefully and urges everyone who lives in Florida to do the same.

“You need to inspect the pool before you go in. Inspect the pool before you let the kids go and run outside, even if it’s enclosed space. Normally, you don’t expect any animals to go in. So just make sure that it’s a safe environment,” he told us. “It’s exciting. It was very fun because it was not as dangerous as it could have been if it was a bigger alligator.”

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