Alligator Refuses to Leave After Showing up on Doorstep in the Middle of the Night

A Florida family received quite the shock last Thursday night.

Steffany Spratling and her husband were fast asleep last Thursday when they were awoken at 2 a.m. by the sound of their dog barking, reported Fox 35 News. Instantly, their minds jumped to the worst conclusion.

"We thought someone was outside," Spratling told the station. "My husband started looking out of the window that my dog was standing at but couldn't see anything."

When Spratling turned on a porch light, she didn't find a person staring back at her. Instead, she saw an 8-foot alligator sitting on the porch.

She told Fox News she waited to see if the gator would leave on its own; however, the creature appeared to be comfortable on the property and continued pacing back and forth between the window where her dog was, and the window of her son's bedroom. Finally, she called the police, who sent a trapper to her home.

In a video obtained by Fox 35, the gator can be seen thrashing and rolling as the trapper takes it away. But before it could officially leave the property, Spratling says the animal put a dent in one of the outside pillars.

Spratling told both outlets that several of her neighbors reported similar issues with gators. She also told Fox News she believed someone could be feeding the gators.

"We are on a canal and always see alligators in the back sunbathing or swimming and we usually just watch and mind our business, but this is the first time an alligator has actually come out this far and unfortunately at my front door," she said.

Though there is no evidence to support Spratling's theory, it is important to note that it is illegal to feed alligators in the state of Florida. Last year, a Florida woman was fined $53,000 for feeding alligators and other wildlife behind her home.

Multiple reports stated at the time the woman would feed the wildlife late at night, which caused wildlife, including alligators, to become too comfortable approaching humans. As a result, a nuisance gator was trapped and relocated.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission [FWC] has a statewide nuisance alligator program that aims to address alligator threats throughout the state and conserve the species in habitats where they naturally occur.

A nuisance gator is defined as a gator that is at least 4-feet long and considered a threat to a person, pet or property. Should a Floridian encounter a nuisance gator, they should maintain a safe distance and call the FWC's Nuisance Alligator Hotline.

sunbathing alligator
An alligator approached a Florida family's home late one night and wouldn't leave. Trappers were called to remove the 8-foot gator. LagunaticPhoto/iStock