7-foot gator roaming Tampa neighborhood wakes up family

Posted at 11:03 AM, Mar 30, 2018

TAMPA, Fla — A family in New Tampa had an unexpected visitor overnight.

After hearing noises near a gate, Jason Rogers says at he thought someone was trying to break into his home.
"I peeked through my kitchen window and I noticed there was something in the grass," said Rogers.

But what he discovered was wasn't a person at all. 

"To see how large it was in the shadow of the moonlight it was definitely nerve racking."

A 7-foot alligator was roaming around their yard in the 19000 block of Yellow Clover Drive just before 2 a.m.
“She’s looking for a date tonight. That’s about what I say about her,” said Robb Upthegrove, an alligator trapper.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife, alligator mating season in Florida typically takes place in May and June.  But, courtship usually begins in April.

PHOTOS | Crazy alligator photos from around Tampa Bay

"During mating season, they have lots of energy. They’re real hot. They’re pumped up. They want to reproduce and they don’t want you messing with them," Upthegrove added.

Upthegrove thinks the female was out “looking for a date.”

The gator was relocated to an alligator farm.

Rogers says he's just happy FWC was able to remove the reptile and no one was hurt.

"We have small children and to know that you have to come out and do a search of your own in the morning if they didn’t relocate it. You don’t want to see one walking down the side walk," said Rogers. 

FWC warns people to keep their distance if they see an alligator, to never feed them and don't walk pets never the water's edge.