Elderly Florida Woman Survives Gator Attack in Retirement Community

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An elderly Florida woman survived a recent alligator attack in her retirement community, according to local reports.

The incident occurred inside of the gated Del Webb retirement community in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, according to Fox 35.

The woman, who remains unnamed, was walking near a retention pond when the incident occurred, Forest Rothchild, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson, told The New York Post. 

A neighbor told Fox 35 that he has never seen anything like this before. “I lived here five years and I’ve never seen a gator come after anybody like that,” wildlife photographer Gordon Silver said to local outlet WSVN. 

“Usually they run the other way, even when you see him on the path around here crossing over from pond to pond. They see a human and they take off.”

Battalion Chief Craig Madsen with East Manatee Fire District responded to the call, saying that neighbors initially heard the woman screaming and ran to help, according to WSVN. 

Madsen said the group of neighbors ran and yelled at the gator until it finally let her go and went back into the water. The almost 8-foot alligator made itself comfortable about two feet away from the shore, staring at the group, according to officials. 

“His eyes were locked on us and luckily MSO was there to keep us safe and he had his weapon drawn just in case the gator did attack again,” East Madsen told WSVN.

Fire rescue crews told Fox 35 that a trapper was called, and once he arrived, he realized the gator showed characteristics leading him to believe someone had been feeding it. 

The 77-year-old woman’s left hand was injured and she is recovering in the hospital as of Monday, but her condition and the extent of her injuries are still unknown, according to authorities.

Florida Fish and Wildlife says the gator was removed from the community and euthanized, according to the reports. 

Silver told WSVN that residents need to be cautious when walking around water in Florida. “Every pond you come across, it could be a little small puddle, and there could be a gator in there.”

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