‘I ran’: 350-pound gator pays visit to Merritt Island home


Only in Florida can you hear a knock at the door and have it be a 10-foot, 350-pound alligator.

A Merritt Island woman said she had the scare of her life Tuesday morning when a gator came to her front door banging. “There’s this clear one (window) in the middle. I was just looking out, watching him approach,” Geri Staples said.

Staples said she took a couple of pictures through the window, but she didn’t watch it for long.

“But then I saw him right there and he hit the door, and that’s when I ran. I wasn’t sure, if he kept pounding like that, if he could actually open the door with his snout if he hit hard enough. So I wasn’t taking any chances,” Staples said.

Neighbor Paulette Bowles took pictures from a safe distance, across the street.

Wildlife officials said the gator was 350 pounds and may have been 60 years old.

Staples said she ran upstairs and tried to put as many doors as she could between her and the monster.

What the gator wanted will remain a mystery. A trapper shot and killed it after a struggle.

“I’m just glad they took him away, so I don’t have to worry about him anymore,” Staples said.

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