A WOMAN was left with severe injuries to her lower leg after being attacked by a seven-foot alligator while she was walking her dog by a lake on Tuesday evening.
The unidentified 43-year-old was mauled below the right knee after the alligator first went for her small dog, which was on a leash.
The alligator was tracked down and taken away[/caption]
It is believed to have first attacked a small dog[/caption]
She was rushed to a hospital nearby in Palm Harbor, Florida, where she is still being treated.
Locals claim they have seen the alligator before sitting on the grass and avoid going too close to the water’s edge as a result.
One witness said that the gator disappeared again into the water quickly after taking a bite at the woman’s leg.
“I was walking my dog and all a 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,” Gene Vance told Fox 13.
The alligator was seven foot and seven inches long[/caption]
It had disappeared into the water after the attack[/caption]
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to remove the animal[/caption]
“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.
“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.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was able to track down the animal and remove it after the attack.
Locals claim kids had been taunting the gators[/caption]
Other residents say they believe someone was feeding it[/caption]
Residents claim they believe someone was feeding it as it came straight toward officers when they arrived.
“When I rolled up here and I walked up here that alligator went right towards all of the police officers so it’s really obvious somebody was feeding that alligator and that’s not cool and that’s why the lady got bit today,” Gregg Brotman told WFLA.
Others claim they have seen kids taunting the gator with sticks while others alleged it as protecting 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,” resident James Dowler added to WFLA.
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says serious injuries caused by alligators in the area are rare.
The agency added that the alligators involved are removed using sound methods.
Alligators are only taken if it is required to resolve the risk to public safety.