SARASOTA, Fla. - Here's one visitor you don't want knocking at your front door.
As Jackie got closer to record video of the reptile, Mark could be heard in the background warning her to stay back because the gator could break through the glass.
Her response: "I have a gun."
The alligator stayed at their doorstep for about 10 minutes before it slowly walked down the path away from the front of their home.
More of the large reptiles have been spotted out and about due to the start of alligator mating season, which begins in May or June. However, their courtship starts in early April -- and that means more alligators sightings as the reptiles venture out in search of their mates.
(Courtesy: Mark and Jackie Brettingen)
By late June or early July, female gators will lay between 32 to 46 eggs. Incubation periods for alligators take about 60 to 65 days, and baby gators will be born in late August or early September, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
FWC provides the following safety tips when it comes to alligators:
Generally, alligators less than four feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled. However, if you encounter any alligator that you believe poses a threat to people, pets or property, call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWCGATOR (866-392-4286). Please be aware, nuisance alligators are killed, not relocated.
Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water. Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.
Do not swim outside of posted swimming areas or in waters that might be inhabited by large alligators.
Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Therefore, avoid swimming at night.
Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators. Don’t allow pets to swim, exercise or drink in or near waters that may contain alligators.
Dogs often attract an alligator’s interest, so do not swim with your dog.
Leave alligators alone. State law prohibits killing, harassing or possessing alligators. Handling even small alligators can result in injury.