PALMHAVNE, Fla. – A trapper was able to locate and remove an alligator that attacked a woman in Pinellas County Tuesday night.
Officials at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say they received a report Tuesday afternoon of a 43-year-old woman being bitten by an alligator while walking her dog on a leash near a small lake in Palm Harbor.
Pinellas County EMS took the woman to the hospital with serious injuries to her lower right leg. An FWC-contracted annoying alligator trap was sent to the scene. They were able to locate and trap the 7 ̵
Gene Vance has lived in the area for about five years and witnessed the attack.
“I was walking with my dog and suddenly I looked back and I see this lady falling by the lake a little bit and apparently she was walking with her dog close to the edge of the lake,” he said. “It looked like gator was trying to get the dog, but she grabbed the dog really fast, but in return she slipped down and the gator got his leg just below the knee … It was like a chomp, and then he went back in the water. “
The FWC says serious damage caused by alligators is rare in Florida. FWC’s response to incidents of alligator bites is to remove the alligator involved using sound methods and take only the alligators needed to address the risk to public safety.
“I’ve seen the same gator just sit on the grass,” Vance said. “It’s a pretty big gator, in fact, I’ve seen him walk a few times, so I always try to avoid being in this area, any place close to the water, because it happens.”
According to the FWC, relocating annoying alligators is not a possible option for humans or alligators. Moved alligators almost always try to return to their place of capture. In the process of returning, they can create problems for humans or other alligators along the way.
People concerned about an alligator should call FWC’s free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). The FWC also works to keep Floridians and visitors informed, including advice on living with alligators.
This is a story that is evolving. Come back for updates.
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