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Florida man finds 9-foot alligator at bottom of swimming pool

Trapper lassos gator in his bare feet

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A Florida man searching for a stray golf ball found something much larger at the bottom of his swimming pool -- a 9-foot alligator.

Craig Lear, 38, who lives adjacent to a golf course in Lakeland, assumed that the bubbles he saw in his pool were from a ball that landed in the water, his wife told ABC News.

When he got closer, however, he spotted the large gator at the bottom of the pool, Laura Lear said.

"I hear stories about gators, but never at my house," she told ABC News.

They called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and later trapper Scott Barbon, who used a lasso to remove the gator from the pool.

Laura Lear said the gator began "thrashing around" in the water as Barbon spent about an hour trying to drag the reptile out of the pool with his bare feet.

Barbon told ABC News that his bare feet are the "best pair of shoes" he has.

"I don't wear shoes because my feet get wet and my shoes get wet," he said. "So I stopped wearing them."

The alligator was euthanized.