PLANTATION KEY, Fla. (WSVN) — A family in the Florida Keys came home late at night to find a 10-foot crocodile in their swimming pool, presenting a challenge for even the most seasoned trappers to get the scaly intruder out.

Cellphone video captured the moment Todd Hardwick with Pesky Critters Wildlife Control was able to catch the large reptile at a home in Plantation Key near Islamorada.

“I got him, I got him,” said Hardwick as the crocodile roared.

The homeowners said they found the animal taking a night swim in their pool.

“It was just enjoying a soak in the pool when we got there,” said Hardwick.

It was clear the reptile was not amused to see the trappers. It thrashed around in an attempt to get loose, but the trappers kept it right on its leash.

“We started the capture, crocodile rolled quite a bit, threw a lot of water out onto the patio deck,” said Hardwick. “It made it quite slippery and little bit dangerous.”

But just how did the crocodile get in the pool?

“It turns out that the animal had actually come up a boat ramp from the canal in a neighboring yard and the found a gap in the homeowners’ backyard to gain access to the swimming pool,” said Hardwick.

Hardwick said this is just one of several recent calls he’s received to get rid of large reptiles, and the number is unusually high.

“I’ve been in this for a very long time, and this is probably one of the busiest stretches I remember for large animals,” he said.

Hardwick said crocodiles and alligators are especially active from April through June, so residents should be on alert.

“Before you go swimming at night, turn on the pool lights and make sure there’s nobody else already in the pool,” he said.

Crocodiles are a threatened species in Florida, with under 2,000 adults in the whole state. When it comes to alligators, there are 1.3 million of them roaming around, which is why they are removed and not released like Sunday’s crocodile.

“Once the animal was returned to its saltwater habitat, he swam off and was quite happy to be back there,” said Hardwick.

The homeowners plan on building a barrier to keep this crocodile and others away.

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