A slumbering family were given the shock of their lives when they discovered a three-metre alligator had managed to climb onto the second floor porch of their South Carolina home.
Susie Polston had been watching US TV series Friends earlier in the evening, and had fallen asleep on the couch when she was woken by what she thought was someone trying to loudly break into their home.
After gathering her family and taking them into the house's master bedroom, Ms Polston's son Ben worked up the courage to go out and see whether he could spot what was making the racket - and after a quick search around the home, he found the creature responsible.
An alligator measuring close to three metres in length had ascended up an external flight of stairs, destroyed an aluminium gate, and made its way to the porch on the second storey, where it lay between a swinging bench and an outdoor couch.
The alligator refused to move, and after barricading the door into the house, they called the authorities who, following countless attempts at trying to snare the reptile, finally captured it after two hours.
Alligator experts say an alligator climbing a flight of stairs like that is extremely rare - but they said because it's Spring, the animal was likely going to desperate measures in its pursuit of a mate.
South Carolina law dictates that alligators deemed to have caused a nuisance that been trapped must be euthanised - so the reptile never did succeed in its efforts to find a female alligator to mate with.