A local sheriff’s deputy has become a Facebook sensation after a recent call required she “bust” an unwanted four-legged intruder in a suburban backyard pool.
On Saturday, Florida’s Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office received a bizarre request for help after a startled homeowner found an alligator in their backyard swimming pool.
According to a Facebook post made by the department, Sheriff’s Deputy Heather Harris responded to the call and found a small alligator lazing in the pool. Luckily, she was able to quickly subdue the animal, tape its snout shut and safely remove it from the water.
“Thinking about taking a swim on a Saturday? Make sure there isn’t a gator inside the pool first!” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “Deputy Heather Harris had to play lifeguard and kick this guy out of the pool. It’s just another interesting day in Tampa Bay!”
They also included photos of Harris with the animal before and after retrieval from the in-ground pool.
The Associated Press noted that alligators appear in Florida pools or yards with more frequency around this time of year, as it is their mating season.
Facebook viewers were equally startled and amused by the alligator rescue operation. “What a super brave officer she is!! This must fall under ‘other duties as assigned!!’ Whew!!!” wrote one.
Another chimed in, “Outstanding job, Deputy Harris! Kind of gives a whole new perspective to ‘Take a bite out of crime.'”
Several found humor in the situation, with many local Floridians joking that they didn’t find its small stature intimidating and that some of their own pets could have been of assistance if Harris had called them.
One even added, “That’s an awesome find. Free new pet?”
According to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Alligator Hotline, gators are still considered active threats to people and other animals, regardless of what the brave Facebook commenters had to say. While some videos of gators enjoying a chin scratch may seem cute, the wildlife agency warns they pose great risks.
In fact, people who take alligator wrangling into their own hands face serious criminal charges, like the Florida man who shot an alligator seen swimming in his neighborhood pond.