A Girl Scout troop in Texas on a leisurely camping trip over the weekend found themselves frantically scrambling out of a lake after a 14-foot alligator decided to slide into the water and join them.
The scary encounter, captured on video and obtained by local outlet KPRC 2, took place Saturday at Lake Raven in Huntsville State Park, north of Houston.
Troop leader Nichole Glenn told Insider she was taking a photo of her daughter and another girl who were in the water when it all started. Others girls in the troop were on dock platform, out of the water, a short way off shore.
«While I was taking the picture, I noticed a log in the water, which wasn’t a log,» she said.
Glenn quickly realized the «log» was actually an alligator, not too far away from where they were swimming. The 53-year-old dropped her phone, jumped down a set of concrete steps and landed on the bank, and immediately told the girls in the water to get out.
While she knew the girls on the dock would not be able to hear her, she also though they may be safe since they were out of the water. But then other people on shore began to panic, shouting «alligator» and scrambling away.
The girls on the dock, unaware what was causing the mayhem, actually started diving into the water so they could swim to shore. Glenn said the alligator started swimming directly toward them with some speed, as was captured on video.
The video opens with the girls already screaming and trying to get out of the lake, while the alligator can be seen gliding along the water directly towards where many of them are swimming.
«I was thinking, this is the day I die,» Ava Miller, an 11-year-old member of the troop, told KPRC 2. «It was moving faster than us or about the same.»
The video showed the last girl on the dock, Erin White, jumping into the water right as it was swimming their direction. Glenn said White still did not know there was an alligator and at that point just thought her friends were leaving her.
«I was close enough to get hurt. And I didn’t even know it was there,» White told KPRC 2. «So I should probably focus on my surroundings more.»
Glenn said she put herself in between the alligators and the girls as they were swimming to shore, adding: «I made sure if he was going to eat somebody, he would eat me first.»
Some of the girls realized what was happening while they rushed to shore. Glenn said White was the last girl to get in, and that the two of them were the last people in the water, with the alligator only around 10 feet away at that point.
«I knew at that moment both of us aren’t going to get away from the alligator because he was moving too fast,» Glenn said, so she shoved White up onto the shore and then swam towards the gator.
At that point, other people nearby had joined and started splashing, successfully scaring the alligator away. But it didn’t totally leave the area. Glenn said it lingered nearby for over an hour until wildlife officials showed up and directed the public to leave.
Glenn said the alligator’s head was two times the size of her torso, and that it was about 14 feet long. The Girl Scouts nicknamed it «Karen.»
Glenn said she was certain in the moment she was going to die, even after recently going through chemotherapy and radiation to survive cancer.
She said she was thinking: «Here I am, I’m going to survive cancer and I’m going to have to feed myself to an alligator in front of my child and all my Girl Scouts.»
Glenn said she’ll never swim in a lake again, but that the Girl Scouts are doing better days after the ordeal. She said she thinks they were just really excited to be interviewed by the news.
While alligator attacks are rare, they do happen. In South Carolina in July a 69-year-old woman was killed by an alligator while walking her dog. When authorities responded to the scene, the alligator was observed «guarding» the woman’s body, police said.
A wildlife expert previously told Insider’s Graham Flanagan that if an alligator charges at you, you should run away as fast as you can — in a straight line, not in a zig-zag — and that you should not play dead.
Nuestra mision es complacer a todos nuestros usuarios sean clientes, lectores o simplemente visitantes, la experiencia merece la pena.