Florida woman, 43, walking dog near Palm Harbor lake attacked by nearly 8ft alligator suffers serious injuries after predator lunged at dog. Beast captured.
The woman was strolling with her dog near a small lake in the Pinellas County community of Palm Harbor on Tuesday night when the gator lunged at her leg, Fox 13 reported.
She was rushed to a hospital with severe injuries to her lower right leg, according to the news outlet.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they were able to locate and trap the predator.
So called, ‘nuisance gators’ usually become the property of the trapper that caught it, or they are processed for their hides and meat, FWC said. Other times they are sold to zoos or animal facilities.
‘I try to avoid being in the area’
Gene Vance, who lives in the area, said he witnessed the attack.
‘I was walking my dog and all the sudden I looked back and I see this lady kinda falling by the lake a little bit and apparently she was walking her dog close to the edge of the lake,’ Vance told Fox 13.
‘It looked like the gator tried to get the dog but she grabbed the dog really quick, but in turn she slipped down and the gator got her leg just underneath the knee… It was like one chomp and then he went back into the water,’ he said.
‘I’ve seen that same gator just kinda sitting out on the grass,’ Vance added. ‘It’s a pretty big gator. Matter of fact, I’ve seen him walking a couple times so I always try to avoid being in that area, any place close to the water, because it happens.’
Another resident told WFLA that kids had been taunting the gator with sticks — and perhaps it was trying to protect a nest.
‘You know as an adult walking by the water, you’re not seen as bait. But anybody walking a small dog or even a midsize dog like that, you’re waiting for trouble,’ James Dowler said.
FWC says serious injuries caused by alligators are rare in Florida. FWC’s response to alligator bite incidents is to remove the alligator involved using sound methods and taking only those alligators needed to resolve the risk to public safety.
According to FWC, relocating nuisance alligators is not a feasible option for people or alligators. Relocated alligators nearly always try to return to their capture site. In the process of returning, they can create problems for people or other alligators along the way.