HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Swimmers over the weekend were face-to-face with a large alligator at Raven Lake in Huntsville State Park.
Cell phone video shows the large gator swimming towards a group of children in the lake. As the alligator gets close to the kids, parents run in to help. Then, another child jumps in the water as the alligator swims closer.
"The gator was definitely aiming for her," said David Siljeg. "It was like a movie scene, but real."
All the kids were pulled to safety. Several witnesses estimate it was more than 10-feet long.
"He was definitely sneaking," said Noel Garcia. "There’s no doubt."
Garcia can be seen on the cell phone video running into the water to help the kids as the gator approached. He says the alligator got briefly tangled in a rope, and that could have helped save the children.
"It wasn’t the best feeling" said Garcia. "Luckily, the rope was there to distract him."
Several signs near the swim area at Huntsville State Park warn of alligators. Earlier this summer, another incident at the same swimming spot required swimmers to be rescued from a dock. This after an alligator went in-between them and shore.
"That one in the video there, that could be a bigger male gator," said Eddie Sunila. "Maybe, he’s seeing a smaller sized kid as a prey item."
Sunila says the large alligator seen on video likely eats large animals, like hogs and deer.
"There are alligators all over Houston," said Sunila. "They go up the Texas border pretty far."
No injuries have been reported from either incident at Raven Lake involving alligators.
According to Sunila, never feed wild animals, including alligators. If you see a gator too close to people, make sure to report it.
"I’ve watched ‘Jaws’ multiple times, [this] kind of triggered those feelings," said Siljeg.