A Florida woman got the shock of her life after finding what was crawling in her house

Apr 12, 2024

Florida is known for its warm weather and beaches.

But living in paradise comes with its own set of challenges.

And a Florida woman got the shock of her life after finding what was crawling in her house.

A woman living in Venice, Florida, on the state’s Gulf Coast just south of Sarasota, thought that someone had wandered into her home.

Mary Hollenback was relaxing on a Saturday afternoon watching television when she heard her front door rattle.

She got up to investigate, thinking that it could be a neighbor who wandered into the wrong home, but she discovered the intruder was a nearly eight-foot-long alligator.

Alligator breaks into Florida woman’s home

“So, I’m sitting on my sofa. It’s late in the afternoon. I’m just watching TV, and I heard my front door rattle, my screen door,” Hollenback told WFLA. “And I thought somebody who didn’t live here was trying to come in, thinking that they were probably in the wrong house because that happens frequently. So, by the time I got up and went near the front door, the gator was already inside.”

The alligator had pushed the screen door open that was held by a magnetic closure.

“He was pushing through that, and it broke the magnetic clasp. The door opened and he just came in,” Hollenback continued. “I probably got no further, no closer to the front door than you are right now. Just close enough to look and see that it wasn’t a person trying to get in; it was an alligator.”

And the alligator began to wander around her home but struggled to get traction on the wooden floor.

Hollenback began trying to think about how she would get the uninvited guest out of her home.

“Oh, my goodness, I have an alligator in my house,” Hollenback recounted. “My mindset was like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I have an alligator in my house,’ and at the same time, I’m thinking, ‘I have an alligator in my house, how am I gonna get rid of the guy?’”

Her first instinct was to call 911 but the gator was between her and her phone.

“The only thing I could think to do was to call 911, but my phone was sitting on the end of the counter,” Hollenback said. “So, I had to get a little bit closer to him, grabbed my phone, and then went on the lanai and called 911.”

Wildlife officials save the day

She was able to get a hold of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, which sent two deputies and three Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials.

“The one deputy was really pretty funny because he told me that when he saw the report, he didn’t believe me until he walked in the house and saw the gator,” Hollenback stated.

Deputies and wildlife officials were able to corral the gator and take it to an alligator farm.

Only in Florida can you end up with an alligator as an unwelcome house guest.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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