As summer’s warmth lingers, many seek refuge from the heat by taking a refreshing swim in lakes. Yet, these serene waters can harbor unique risks, from strong currents to chilly depths, and, of course, the presence of wildlife.

Recently, a group of swimmers, including Girl Scouts, at Raven Lake in Huntsville State Park, Texas, experienced a heart-pounding encounter with an alligator that could have had tragic consequences.

A cellphone video captured the tense moment as a sizable alligator approached the group of Girl Scouts. Fortunately, vigilant parents and adults were nearby, rushing to their aid. Amid the commotion, another child jumped into the water, and the alligator shifted its course directly toward her.

“The gator was definitely aiming for her,” recalled David Siljeg, who recorded the video. “It was like a movie scene, but real.”

In a stark departure from cinematic suspense, all the children were swiftly rescued from the water, ensuring their safety. Observers estimated that the alligator measured between 10 to 14 feet in length.

Noel Garcia, one of the adults who intervened, described the alligator’s approach as stealthy, saying, “He was definitely sneaking. There’s no doubt.” Garcia explained that as the alligator neared the swimmers, it briefly became entangled in a rope.

This unexpected interruption in its approach may have spared the children’s lives. Garcia acknowledged the unsettling experience, saying, “It wasn’t the best feeling, but luckily, the rope was there to distract him.”

This incident is not an isolated occurrence. Signs posted around the park serve as a warning about the presence of alligators. Earlier in the summer, another alligator ventured into a swimming area, prompting a rescue operation from a dock. Alligators typically prey on large animals like hogs and deer. While alligators are a common sight in various areas of Houston, feeding them is discouraged, and encounters should be reported.

While these events can be traumatizing, the participants are sure to have quite a story to tell. Siljeg humorously noted, “I’ve watched Jaws multiple times, [this] kind of triggered those feelings.”



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