Girl Scouts Escape an Approaching Alligator

Troop leader put herself between reptile and girls at Texas park
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2023 1:42 PM CDT

"I always say I would do anything for them," says Girl Scout troop leader Nichole Glenn. "Now, I definitely know I would do anything for them." Glenn put herself between a member of her troop and a huge alligator as it moved toward the girls on Saturday. There were screams as the alligator, estimated to be 14 feet long, swam toward members of Troop 114024 in Raven Lake at Huntsville State Park on Saturday, KPRC 2 reports. "There was no doubt in my mind that that alligator was ... going to try and eat somebody," Glenn says. David Siljeg, who recorded video of the encounter, says law enforcement arrived and closed the lake after all the swimmers were out, reports KTRK.

The troop was on an overnight trip to the park around 65 miles north of Houston. Glenn tells KPRC 2 that it took a couple of hours to calm the girls down. "Some of us were freaking out a little bit because we just realized that an alligator was about to attack us," says 11-year-old Ava Miller. "I was thinking, this is the day I die," she says. "It was moving faster than us or about the same." Noel Garcia, who helped get people to safety, tells Fox 26 that the alligator briefly got tangled in a rope, slowing its advance.

The girls describe the close encounter with the alligator as "exhilarating," though they aren't sure whether they will ever go back in the lake. They have nicknamed the reptile Karen, but Eddie Sunila at the Houston Zoo says the alligator appears to be a large male. The animal's normal diet would include deer and hogs, he says. "There are alligators all over Houston," he says. "They go up the Texas border pretty far." (More Girl Scouts stories.)

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