Goosebump-inducing screams echoed across the beach as a giant alligator approached a group of swimming children.
Beachgoers in Texas were in for a surprise when the sneaky reptile waded through the water on a clear summer day.
One person captured the chaotic episode on camera as the predator sneaked up on the children.
“Look how big it is!” One person screamed as the animal approached a little girl who had just jumped into the water from the dock.
David Siljeg was on the beach when the terrible encounter occurred.
“The alligator was definitely targeting her,” Siljeg said. “It was like a scene from a movie, but real.”
Within seconds, parents and onlookers ran into the water to rescue the girl.
Luckily everyone was able to get out of the water unharmed.
Another witness, Noel Garcia, told the stations that the creature was actually caught in a rope used to create the boundaries of the safe swimming zone.
“Luckily the rope was there to distract him,” Garcia noted.
A herpetologist at the Houston Zoo said alligators are common in the Houston area.
“That one in the video could be a larger male alligator,” emphasized Eddie Sunila.
He confirmed the witnesses’ worst fears: “Maybe he sees a smaller child as prey.”
In the spring and summer, alligators move to reproduce and find new habitats.
Texas Parks and Wildlife has provided guidance to the public on how to handle confrontations with alligators.
“If you encounter an alligator up close a few feet away, back away slowly,” the organization advises.
While it is unusual for wild alligators to hunt humans, on land they can run short distances at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.
You should always avoid feeding them and watch your children and pets in rooms where alligators might roam.