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lele pons photos© @gatorboys_chris

Lele Pons shares how swimming with alligators helps her mental health

The YouTube star has a personal connection with the reptiles

UPDATED JUNE 24, 2020 11:20 AM EDT

Lele Pons has a deeply personal connection with alligators. On the latest episode of her YouTube original series, The Secret Life of Lele Pons, the influencer’s father reveals how the reptiles help her cope with mental illness. “Alligators to Lele are like what dolphins and horses are to other people in terms of therapy,” Luis Pons said. “Sometimes they take patience to be connected with dolphins and she does this with alligators. The alligators are a way to make her feel peace, she’s in her element, completely.”

lele pons, mental health© Youtube
Lele Pons says swimming with alligators bring her peace

Lele, 23, has no fear as she swims in the pool with a baby alligator. During their interaction, Lele is in her element as she gently talks to the creature while they swim in her private pool. “This is my peace, this is my peace,” she said. The YouTube star has been vocal about her love for the animal. In June, in honor of her birthday, Lele shared a series of photos from an up close encounter with a full grown alligator.

“The most amazing experience in the world!! Swimming up close to my #1 favorite animal. If you know me, you know how obsessed I am with alligators and their history! Thank you so much @gatorboys_chris and @evergladesoutpost for making this happen! Best birthday present.”

lele pons instagram© @lelepons
In June Lele swam with an alligator for her birthday

In the photos, Lele is fearless as she swims alongside the alligator. Keeping their distance, the star stayed behind a mesh divider. In the latest episode of her series, Lele also explores the benefits of doing the work to learn how to effectively live with her mental illness.

“Coming into this documentary and sharing my truth, you have to expect people that are going to say that ‘she’s faking it or being like this is an excuse,’ and you just have to be okay with it, because at the end of the day, I’m not embarrassed about what I have,” she said. “This is my truth. If you want to respect it, that’s on you, if you don’t that’s on you too.”