HOUSTON (WFLA) — An alligator in Texas gave a Girl Scout troop a weekend they won’t forget after it began to charge at them during a swim at a state park.
According to KPRC, a group of 11-year-olds were on an overnight camping trip at Huntsville State Park to explore and earn badges.
Shortly after the troop got into the water, panic and chaos ensued as the alligator, estimated to be about 12 to 14 feet long, swam toward the children.
Shouting and screaming could be heard on video that captured the incident.
“I was thinking, ‘This is the day I die,'” Ava Miller told the news station. “It was moving, like, faster than us or about the same.”
David Siljeg, who shot the video, told Storyful that he thought the gator would leave once it saw people swimming and splashing, but that was not the case.
“The alligator switched to attack mode and was aiming quickly toward the little kids,” he said.
Troop leader Nichole Gleen quickly helped some of them to safety.
“There was no doubt in my mind that that alligator was going to try and eat somebody,” she said.
Gleen, who put herself between the girls and the gator, said, “I always say that I love them to death, I always say I would do anything for them. Now, I definitely know I would do anything for them.”
KPRC reported that the swimming area of the park was shut down for the rest of the day after the incident.
The state agency has removed alligators from the park in the past and is evaluating if the same needs to be done for this gator.
The Girls Scout troop told KPRC that they named the gator “Karen” and said the experience taught them an important lesson.
“I was close enough to get hurt. And I didn’t even know it was there,” Erin White said. “So I should probably focus on my surroundings more.”