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Alligator takes surprise dip in Bradenton couple's pool

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BRADENTON, FLA. -- Sharon Bente thought the noise she was hearing just after 4 a.m. Thursday morning was a thunderstorm blowing chairs around her screened in porch.

“So when I came out to the patio to explore I saw something that is not usually in the pool along with the little floaty, and it turned out to be an eight foot alligator.”

She was shocked to discover the pool crasher and said she only had one thought when she spotted the gator.

“Can I get back to the door without it seeing me or realizing I'm bait.”

Bente went right inside and woke up her husband John.

“[She] said, 'we have a gator in our pool' to me, and of course I didn’t know what she was talking about," John says. "I was still half sleeping.”

The gator ended up in the couple's pool after crashing through a section of screen.

“And he was just swimming around in circles. ... I think he was a little intimidated with everybody watching too,” John says.

The Bente's called the Sheriff's Department, which notified a trapper to remove the eight foot three and a half inch gator.

“It was quite an evening, quite an evening,” John says.

The couple hopes it was a once in a lifetime experience. 

“And it turns out we just had a few screens that needed repairing and it is a great story, it is a fun story and hopefully it just won't happen again,” Sharon says.

Neighbors tell ABC 7 that alligators have been using this neighborhood for years as a cut through between the Braden River and a neighborhood lake.

As for the fate of this gator, she has been transported to a gator farm in Arcadia.