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Florida: Gator in backyard pool as reptiles warm to spring

April 1, 2018

In this photo provided by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, authorities remove an alligator from a pool in Sarasota, Fla. Authorities received a call about the alligator Friday, March 30, 2018. (Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Florida homeowners beware: one big gator has been found splashing in a backyard swimming pool and it took a trapper to drag it away.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office posted images of the floating gator late Friday on Twitter, saying it measured 11 feet (3 meters) long.

With temperatures warming, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns that the state’s estimated 1.3 million gators are becoming more active — and should be treated with “caution and respect.” There’ve been at least two other gator sightings in yards recently, one mistaken for a burglar.

Injuries from alligators are rare, but the commission urges swimming only in designated areas of rivers and lakes.

As for backyard swimming pools, it makes no mention. But for some homeowners, that too is “swim at your own risk.”

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