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9-foot-long gator removed from backyard pool in Hillsborough County

Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 19, 2018

ODESSA, Fla. — Hillsborough County deputies assisted a licensed trapper with the removal of a 9-foot-long gator from a backyard pool on Thursday. 

The gator was found going for a swim in a pool located on Muirfield Drive in The Eagles in Odessa. 

Suanne Wesselhoff was eating breakfast on the patio this morning. Her dogs would not stop barking.

"They kept sort of barking and kind of acting a little strange and for some reason, I looked over at the pool and I saw..... an — what turned out to be- a 9-foot alligator just lounging in my pool," Wesselhoff said.

She panicked. Her husband was golfing. She got a message to him. She said she also called 911.

"I was thinking oh my gosh I need to get the dogs out of here," Wesselhoff said.

Wesselhoff suspects the alligator got into the pool because a section of the screened in patio had ripped.

"I'm sure he just shimmied underneath it," she said.

She plans to get the piece fixed as soon as possible.

"I already have a call in for repair. Yes. (I'm) going to repair (it)," she said.

She never imagined an alligator would get that close to her home.

"I will check to see if there's anything going on out here before we come out and enjoy our patio," Wesselhoff said.

FWC says once a contracted nuisance alligator trapper removes an alligator, it becomes the property of the trapper.

In this case, the alligator was processed for its hide and meat, the primary source of compensation for their services. Occasionally, a nuisance alligator is reportedly sold alive to an alligator farm, animal exhibit or zoo.

Watch video of the trapper wrangling the gator below: