Florida is no stranger to its diverse wildlife, especially when it comes to crocodiles and alligators. But imagine the shock of discovering a massive 10-foot American crocodile taking a leisurely swim in your backyard pool in the middle of the night! That’s precisely what happened in the Florida Keys recently.

The incident came to light when a video surfaced online, showcasing the challenging rescue operation. Posted by Pesky Critters Wildlife Control on Instagram, the video captured the intense moments as expert wildlife trapper Todd Hardwick, along with his assistant Jeff Peterla, grappled with the massive reptile. The crocodile, clearly not ready to end its nighttime swim, splashed vigorously, making the rescue even more challenging.

The event unfolded on June 11, 2023, when a homeowner in Plantation Key alerted wildlife officials about the unexpected guest in their pool. Responding to the call, the Pesky Critters team, acting as FWC Crocodile Agents, arrived on the scene. Despite the slippery conditions caused by the crocodile’s splashes, Hardwick managed to secure the creature. With assistance from a Monroe county officer, the crocodile was safely relocated to a nearby water body.

American crocodiles, while common in South Florida’s coastlines, are a threatened species in the state and endangered elsewhere in the U.S. Such incidents highlight the delicate balance between human habitats and wildlife in Florida.

The rescue operation was a success thanks to the skill and dedication of the Pesky Critters team. The team’s efforts were praised by social media users, who commended them for their work in protecting Florida’s wildlife.

The incident is a reminder of the importance of being aware of your surroundings and taking precautions to avoid wildlife encounters. If you see a crocodile or alligator in your area, do not approach it and contact wildlife officials immediately.